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The Dual of the Maximum Likelihood Method
The Maximum Likelihood method estimates the parameter values of a statistical model that maximizes the corresponding likelihood function, given the sample information. This is the primal approach that, in this paper, is presented as a mathematical programming specification whose solution requires the formulation of a Lagrange problem. A result of this setup is that the Lagrange multipliers associated with the linear statistical model (where sample observations are regarded as a set of constraints) are equal to the vector of residuals scaled by the variance of those residuals. The novel contribution of this paper consists in deriving the dual model of the Maximum Likelihood method under normality assumptions. This model minimizes a function of the variance of the error terms subject to orthogonality conditions between the model residuals and the space of explanatory variables. An intuitive interpretation of the dual problem appeals to basic elements of information theory and an economic interpretation of Lagrange multipliers to establish that the dual maximizes the net value of the sample information. This paper presents the dual ML model for a single regression and provides a numerical example of how to obtain maximum likelihood estimates of the parameters of a linear statistical model using the dual specification.
Maximum Likelihood, Primal, Dual, Signal, Noise, Value of Sample Information.
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