I've read several articles/tutorials on Logistic Regression and I've come across this idea of log-odds being equal to the weighted sum of features.

i.e. if $p$ is the probability of a sample belonging to positive class(target variable: 1), $(1-p)$ is the probability of it belonging to the negative(target variable: 0). Then, for input features $x_1$, $x_2$, $x_3$ ... $x_n$ and weights $\theta_0, \theta_1, \theta_2... \theta_n$, they write

\begin{equation} log\bigg(\frac{p}{1-p}\bigg) = x_0 \theta_0 + x_1 \theta_1 + x_2 \theta_2 \dots x_n \theta_n \end{equation}

where $x_0$ is bias

Now I get what features are, I get what weighted sum of feature is, I know about the odds, I know log, what I cannot comprehend is, how are those two quantities equal? I've gone through plenty of online articles but they always say that these two are equal, but they don't explain how.


1 Answer 1


Ordinary regression, Logistic regression, Poisson regression are all examples of Generalized Linear Models (GLM).

A GLM can be broken down into 3 components:

  • A random component: Target Variable $Y_i$ which is assumed to follow a distribution with $E(Y_i)$ and $Var(Y_i)$
  • A systematic component: A linear combination of the features variables known as the linear predictor; $\gamma_i= \beta_{0} + \beta_1{x_1} \dots + \beta_n{x_n}$

  • Link Component: The link function, $g(\cdot)$, connects the random component to the systematic component. If $E(Y_i) = u_{i}$, then the link function connects $\mu_{i}$ to $\gamma_{i}$ through some function $g(\cdot)$, and we then have that $g(\mu_i)= \beta_{0} + \beta_1{x_1} \dots + \beta_n{x_n}$. Moreover, $E(Y_i) = \mu_i = g^{-1}(\beta_{0} + \beta_1{x_1} \dots + \beta_n{x_n})$

The link function for linear regression is the identify link: $g(\mu_i) = \mu_i$

The link function for logistic regression is the logit link: $g(\mu) = log(\frac{\mu}{1-\mu})$. The logit link is used when $\mu$ takes values between 0 and 1 since the function maps to -infinity to infinity.

There are a lot details which I have skimmed over on purpose, GLM is a rich subject. I would recommend reading more about it, here are some references below:


Categorical Data Analysis by Alan Agresti

An Introduction to Categorical Data Analysis

Hope this helps!


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