Formal priors

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Maths over the statistical model assumed at the service of constructing formal rules

A prior is endorsed formally if it has either been derived using a formal well-established rule (in the broad sense defined by [1]) like the

or if it has been deduced following formal statistical arguments like

  • invariance, or
  • admissibility.


  1. Kass, R.E. and Wasserman, L. (1996), "The Selection of Prior Distributions by Formal Rules", Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol.91, pp. 1343-1370.