Linear Regression Assumption

I don't understand why, in a linear regression, the gaussian assumption on the target is not equal to the gaussian assumption on the error. See question 1 of the exam.

Follow up question:

If we don't assume that y follows a normal distribution, for example, let's assume that y follows a poison distribution, how could we derive MSE from the maximum log-likelihood?

From the lecture notes, the assumption from step e to step f is that y is normally distributed.

Could we really interpret least-squares linear regression as MLE assuming ANY distribution??

Screenshot from 2021-01-22 18-47-49.jpg

The assumption was not that y is normally distributed but the following:


Thank you Karel. I completely agree that the noise should have zero mean. However, I also think that in order to derive MSE from MLE, we need to assume that y also follows a normal distribution.

Do you know if the error is gaussian, does that make y also gaussian?

I would like to understand this more. I'm guessing there might be some steps missing in the derivation.

Is step e, the sum of two gaussians?

Yes I also was a bit confused by this question. By assuming the above model, we are still assuming y is a normal distribution with mean \(x_{n}^{T}w \) and variance \( \sigma^{2} \) due to the noise. Would like to understand what the distinction there is :)


I think the confusion comes from the fact that \( y \) given \( x \) has a normal distribution \( \mathcal{N}( x^T w, \sigma^2) \). However \( y \) can be very different from a Gaussian (the total distribution can be very different from the conditional distributions).

For instance assume \(d = 1\) and \( x = +1 \) w.p \( 1/ 2 \) and \( - 1 \) otherwise, then if the noise is \( \mathcal{N}( 0, \sigma^2) \) and independent of \( x \) we get that : \( p( y | x = \pm 1) = \mathcal{N}( \pm w, \sigma^2 ) \) and
\( p(y) = 0.5 \ \mathcal{N}( w, \sigma^2 ) + 0.5 \ \mathcal{N}( - w, \sigma^2) \), which is not Gaussian.

Let me know if this is clear. Best.


Totally agree!
Thank you very much for the clarification.

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