Solution: Residual Plots
What is R2
The definition of R-squared is fairly straight-forward; it is the percentage of the response variable variation that is explained by a linear model.
R2 = Explained variation / Total variation
R2 is always between 0 and 100%:
- 0% indicates that the model explains none of the variability of the response data around its mean.
- 100% indicates that the model explains all the variability of the response data around its mean.
R2 value has limitations. You cannot use R2 to determine whether the coefficient estimates and predictions are biased, which is why you must assess the residual plots.
R2 does not indicate if a regression model provides an adequate fit to your data. A good model can have a low R2 value. On the other hand, a biased model can have a high R2 value!
Interpreting Residual Plots
A residual is a difference between the observed y-value (from scatter plot) and the predicted y-value (from regression equation line).
A residual plot is a graph that shows the residuals on the vertical axis and the independent variable on the horizontal axis. If the points in a residual plot are randomly dispersed around the horizontal axis, a linear regression model is appropriate for the data; otherwise, a non-linear model is more appropriate.
An unbiased model has residuals that are randomly scattered around zero. Non-random residual patterns indicate a bad fit despite a high R2.
High R2 and Bad Fit Example
Refer fitted line plot and residual plot below. It displays the relationship between semiconductor electron mobility and the natural log of the density for real experimental data.
Here R-squared is 98.5%. However, look closer to see how the regression line systematically over and under-predicts the data (bias) at different points along the curve. You can also see patterns in the Residuals versus Fits plot, rather than the randomness that you want to see. This indicates a bad fit. Always check residual plots!
Source and References
- Stattrek.com. (2010). Residual Analysis in Regression. [online] Available at: https://stattrek.com/regression/residual-analysis.aspx.
- Roberts, D. (2019). Residuals - MathBitsNotebook(A1 - CCSS Math). [online] Mathbitsnotebook.com. Available at: https://mathbitsnotebook.com/Algebra1/StatisticsReg/ST2Residuals.html.
- Coursera. (2018). Model Evaluation using Visualization - Model Development | Coursera. [online] Available at: https://www.coursera.org/learn/data-analysis-with-python/lecture/istf4/model-evaluation-using-visualization [Accessed 9 Jan. 2020].
- Minitab Blog Editor (2013). Regression Analysis: How Do I Interpret R-squared and Assess the Goodness-of-Fit? [online] Minitab.com. Available at: https://blog.minitab.com/blog/adventures-in-statistics-2/regression-analysis-how-do-i-interpret-r-squared-and-assess-the-goodness-of-fit.
- Frost, J. (2019). Jim Frost. [online] Statistics By Jim. Available at: https://statisticsbyjim.com/regression/interpret-r-squared-regression/.