Prior-free probabilistic prediction of future observations

2015-02-28T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Ryan Martin Rama T. Lingham

Prediction of future observations is a fundamental problem in statistics. Here we present a general approach based on the recently developed inferential model (IM) framework. We employ an IM-based technique to marginalize out the unknown parameters, yielding prior-free probabilistic prediction of future observables. Verifiable sufficient conditions are given for validity of our IM for prediction, and a variety of examples demonstrate the proposed method's performance. Thanks to its generality and ease of implementation, we expect that our IM-based method for prediction will be a useful tool for practitioners.