Simple Regression

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Simple Regression - short version

A procedure that describes a straight line that best fits a series of ordered pairs (x,y).

Simple Regression - long version

Simple regression is the least squares estimator of a linear regression model with a single explanatory variable. In other words, simple linear regression fits a straight line through the set of n points in such a way that makes the sum of squared residuals of the model (that is, vertical distances between the points of the data set and the fitted line) as small as possible.

The adjective simple refers to the fact that this regression is one of the simplest in statistics. The fitted line has the slope equal to the correlation between y and x corrected by the ratio of standard deviations of these variables. The intercept of the fitted line is such that it passes through the center of mass (x, y) of the data points.

Other regression methods besides the simple ordinary least squares (OLS) also exist (see linear regression model). In particular, when one wants to do regression by eye, people usually tend to draw a slightly steeper line, closer to the one produced by the total least squares method. This occurs because it is more natural for one's mind to consider the orthogonal distances from the observations to the regression line, rather than the vertical ones as OLS method does.


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