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An idealized Cromwell’s principle

1 June 2018

Cromwell’s principle idealized under the theory of large deviations

Seminar, Statistics and Probability Research Group, University of Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario

April 27, 2018

David R. Bickel

University of Ottawa

Abstract. Cromwell’s principle requires that the prior probability that one’s assumptions are incorrect is greater than 0. That is relevant to Bayesian model checking since diagnostics often reveal that prior distributions require revision, which would be impossible under Bayes’s theorem if those priors were 100% probable. The idealized Cromwell’s principle makes the probability of making incorrect assumptions arbitrarily small. Enforcing that principle under large deviations theory leads to revising Bayesian models by maximum entropy in wide generality.