Teaching Bayesian Model Comparison With the Three-Sided Coin
Document Type Article
Published by The American Statistical Society in The American Statistician, Volume 61, Number 3, August 2007, Pages 239-244.
This article introduces the problem of determining the probability that a rotating and bouncing cylinder (i.e., flipped coin) will land and come to rest on its edge. We present this problem and analysis as a practical, nontrivial example to introduce the reader to Bayesian model comparison. Several models are presented, each of which take into consideration different physical aspects of the problem and the relative effects on the edge landing probability. The Bayesian formulation of model comparison is then used to compare the models and their predictive agreement with data from hand-flipped cylinders of several sizes.