Beta conjugate explorer

Here’s a little interactive explorer for the beta probability distribution, a conjugate prior for the Bernoulli under Bayesian inference

Ack, too much jargon. Simply press the right arrow every time you see the sun rise, the up arrow when it doesn’t, and opposite directions for amnesia.

I’ve wanted this for a while, an interface that lets you directly control a learning process / play with parameters, and see the effect on posterior beliefs, because I have a poor intuition for all these probability distributions. However, it was never worth actually making this until I tried out using Processing, an amazingly easy-to-use visualization development tool. This is my first Processing app and it was extremely easy to develop — easier than any other graphic/GUI framework I can think of. (Source.) If only java applets didn’t horribly lock up a browser when you open the page…

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5 Responses to Beta conjugate explorer

  1. sasha says:


  2. Hadley says:

    Neat. We’re working on tools that would make it easy to develop little apps like this in R.

  3. brendano says:

    Thanks folks. Hadley, I’m looking forward to trying out such tools!

  4. dhduncan says:

    i know that this is old, and i am aware of the fine SHINY new one, but i still love and use this explorer!

  5. Thanks! What’s the “shiny” new one?