Python Profile likelihood [Explained]

Profile likelihood is a statistical technique used in various fields, including data analysis and hypothesis testing, to estimate the parameters of a statistical model.

It is often used in situations where traditional maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) may not be appropriate due to small sample sizes, non-normality, or other issues.

In Python, you can perform profile likelihood analysis using various libraries, but one of the most commonly used libraries for statistical analysis is statsmodels.

Here’s a general outline of how you can perform profile likelihood analysis in Python:

  1. Import the necessary libraries:
import numpy as np
import statsmodels.api as smCode language: Python (python)
  1. Define your statistical model:

You’ll need to specify the likelihood function and the parameters you want to profile. For example, if you have a linear regression model, you can define it as follows:

# Define your data
X = ...
y = ...

# Define the model
model = sm.OLS(y, X)Code language: Python (python)
  1. Perform Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE):

Fit the model to the data to estimate the parameters using ML

results =
params_mle = results.paramsCode language: Python (python)
  1. Profile Likelihood Analysis:

To perform profile likelihood analysis, you’ll need to vary one or more parameters while keeping others fixed and record the likelihood values at each point. Here’s an example of profiling one parameter while keeping others fixed:

# Profile likelihood for a single parameter (e.g., parameter at index 0)
profiled_param_index = 0
param_values_to_profile = np.linspace(params_mle[profiled_param_index] - 2, params_mle[profiled_param_index] + 2, 100)

profile_likelihoods = []
for param_value in param_values_to_profile:
    # Set the parameter value to the current profiled value
    model.profile(params_mle, index=profiled_param_index, values=param_value)

    # Fit the model with the profiled parameter and get the likelihood
    profiled_results =
    profile_likelihood = profiled_results.llf  # llf is the log-likelihood value
Code language: Python (python)
  1. Plot the Profile Likelihood:

You can then plot the profile likelihood to visualize how the likelihood changes as the profiled parameter varies:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

plt.plot(param_values_to_profile, profile_likelihoods)
plt.xlabel("Parameter Value")
plt.ylabel("Profile Likelihood")
plt.title("Profile Likelihood Plot") language: Python (python)

This will give you a plot showing how the likelihood varies as you change the profiled parameter while keeping the other parameters fixed.

Remember that the specific implementation may vary depending on your statistical model and requirements. Profile likelihood analysis is a powerful technique for understanding the uncertainty and estimating confidence intervals for model parameters.

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  • Abdullah Walied Allama

    Abdullah Walied Allama is a driven programmer who earned his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Alexandria University's Faculty of Computer and Data Science. He is passionate about constructing problem-solving models and excels in various technical skills, including Python, data science, data analysis, Java, SQL, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

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