Mean and predicted response

In linear regression mean response and predicted response are values of the dependent variable calculated from the regression parameters and a given value of the independent variable. The values of these two responses are the same, but their calculated variances are different.


Further information: Straight line fitting

In straight line fitting, the model is

where is the response variable, is the explanatory variable, εi is the random error, and and are parameters. The predicted response value for a given explanatory value, xd, is given by

while the actual response would be

Expressions for the values and variances of and are given in linear regression.

Mean response

Since the data in this context is defined to be (x,y) pairs for every observation, the Mean response at a given value of x, say xd, is an estimate of the mean of the y values in the population at the x value of xd, that is . The variance of the mean response is given by

This expression can be simplified to

To demonstrate this simplification, one can make use of the identity

Predicted response

The predicted response distribution is the predicted distribution of the residuals at the given point xd. So the variance is given by

The second part of this expression was already calculated for the mean response. Since (a fixed but unknown parameter that can be estimated), the variance of the predicted response is given by

Confidence intervals

Main article: Confidence interval
Further information: Prediction interval

The confidence intervals are computed as . Thus, the confidence interval for predicted response is wider than the interval for mean response. This is expected intuitively – the variance of the population of values does not shrink when one samples from it, because the random variable εi does not decrease, but the variance of the mean of the does shrink with increased sampling, because the variance in and decrease, so the mean response (predicted response value) becomes closer to .

This is analogous to the difference between the variance of a population and the variance of the sample mean of a population: the variance of a population is a parameter and does not change, but the variance of the sample mean decreases with increased samples.

General linear regression

The general linear model can be written as

Therefore, since the general expression for the variance of the mean response is

where S is the covariance matrix of the parameters, given by



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