Statistics, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



2017 International Society for Bayesian Analysis


Bayesian Analysis (2017) 12, Number 3, pp. 807–829


In M-open problems where no true model can be conceptualized, it is common to back off from modeling and merely seek good prediction. Even in M-complete problems, taking a predictive approach can be very useful. Stacking is a model averaging procedure that gives a composite predictor by combining individual predictors from a list of models using weights that optimize a cross validation criterion. We show that the stacking weights also asymptotically minimize a posterior expected loss. Hence we formally provide a Bayesian justification for cross-validation. Often the weights are constrained to be positive and sum to one. For greater generality, we omit the positivity constraint and relax the ‘sum to one’ constraint.