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BayesiaLab Webinar Series

What is Importance?

Recorded on August 28, 2019.

Webinar Materials


Everybody knows the meaning of "importance," right? "What is important?" is a common question in daily life, and it is presumably the most common question in research. It's all about attempting to understand what matters within the context of a given domain.

Upon entering the world of statistics and analytics, we encounter a myriad of measures all related to importance, e.g., correlation, weight, significance, indirect/direct effect size, temporal/contemporaneous effects, unit effect, normalized effect, Bayes Factor, Mutual Information, KL-Divergence, contribution, elasticity, etc. Additionally, some of these measures should not be used in isolation but instead need to be seen in conjunction with other quantities, such as joint probability, for decision-making purposes. This highlights that "importance" is not at all a narrowly-defined concept, but that it instead covers a broad and diverse spectrum of notions. 

While none of these measures are tied to Bayesian networks, we employ this framework to explain major and minor differences between these concepts. More specifically, we attempt to develop an intuition for all of the above concepts using machine-learned Bayesian network models. Our objective is to understand in which contexts what measures of importance are most appropriate to use.

BayesiaLab Courses

November 22, 2019 New York, NY Judicial Reasoning, Bayes' Rule, and Artificial Intelligence (3-Hour Seminar)
December 10–12, 2019 New York, NY Introductory Course (3-Day Course)

Seminars, Webinars, and Conferences

October 23, 2019, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (CDT, UTC-05) Live Webinar Bayesian Parameter Estimation for Individualized Drug Dosing
November 13, 2019, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (CST, UTC-06) Live Webinar Artificial Intelligence & Ethical Reasoning
December 4, 2019, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (CST, UTC-06) Live Webinar Beyond Effect Sizes: Establishing Priorities Using Target Dynamic Profile
Please check out our archive of recordings of previous events

7th Annual BayesiaLab Conference

October 7–9, 2019 Durham, NC 3-Day Introductory Course
October 10–11, 2019 Durham, NC 7th Annual BayesiaLab Conference
October 14–16, 2019 Durham, NC 3-Day Advanced Course