Assumptions of Linear Regression

Previously we made a brief introduction on linear regression theory. In this post we will discuss about the assumptions that must be true when constructing a linear regression model.

The first obvious assumption is the linear relationship between the dependent (response) variable and the independent variables. An easy way to check this is with a scatter plot.

A second assumption is absence of multicollinearity. This means that the independent variables must not be correlated with each other. One way to check for multicolinearity is to use a correlation matrix or a variance inflation factor.

Another assumption is homoscedasticity. In other words the residuals are the same accross the values of the independent variables. A scatter plot of residuals against predicted values is enough to check for homoscedasticity; a cone-shaped pattern is a sign of heteroscdasticity.

Also, the residuals must be normally distributed. This assumption can be checked with a Q-Q plot or by drawing a histogram from the residual values. Statistical test like theĀ Kolmogorov-Smirnov test on residuals is an option too.

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