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Book description

This comprehensive guide to Bayesian methods in astronomy enables hands-on work by supplying complete R, JAGS, Python, and Stan code, to use directly or to adapt. It begins by examining the normal model from both frequentist and Bayesian perspectives and then progresses to a full range of Bayesian generalized linear and mixed or hierarchical models, as well as additional types of models such as ABC and INLA. The book provides code that is largely unavailable elsewhere and includes details on interpreting and evaluating Bayesian models. Initial discussions offer models in synthetic form so that readers can easily adapt them to their own data; later the models are applied to real astronomical data. The consistent focus is on hands-on modeling, analysis of data, and interpretations that address scientific questions. A must-have for astronomers, its concrete approach will also be attractive to researchers in the sciences more generally.


'This volume is a very welcome addition to the small but growing library of resources for advanced analysis of astronomical data. Astronomers are often confronted with complex constrained regression problems, situations that benefit from computationally intensive Bayesian approaches. The authors provide a unique and sophisticated guide with tutorials in methodology and software implementation. The worked examples are impressive. Many astronomers use Python and will benefit from the less familiar capabilities of R, Stan, and JAGS for Bayesian analysis. I suspect the work will also be useful to scientists in other fields who venture into the world of Bayesian computational statistics.'

Eric D. Feigelson - Pennsylvania State University, author of Modern Statistical Methods for Astronomy

'Encyclopaedic in scope, a treasure trove of ready code for the hands-on practitioner.'

Ben Wandelt - Paris Institute of Astrophysics, Institut Lagrange de Paris, Université Paris-Sorbonne

'This informative book is a valuable resource for astronomers, astrophysicists, and cosmologists at all levels of their career. From students starting out in the field to researchers at the frontiers of data analysis, everyone will find insightful techniques accompanied by helpful examples of code. With this book, Hilbe, de Souza, and Ishida are firmly taking astrostatistics into the twenty-first century.'

Roberto Trotta - Imperial College London, author of The Edge of the Sky

'… the focus of the book is not on providing a full understanding of how the distributions arise, but to give guidelines on how to write code for applications, including building multi-level models, and here it succeeds well, and is an excellent resource in conjunction with powerful packages such as STAN and JAGS.'

Alan Heavens Source: The Observatory

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