Prior Predictive Checks

The prior predictive distributin of a Bayesian model what you get by sampling parameters directly from the priors and calculating where the model would place the data. For example, if sampling from relative astrometry, the prior predictive model is the distribution of (simulated) astrometry points corresponding to orbits drawn from the prior. For radial velocity data, these would be simulated RV points based on an RV curve drawn from the priors.

To generate a prior predictive distribution, one first needs to create a model. We will use the model and sample data from the Fit Astrometry tutorial:

using Octofitter
using CairoMakie
using PairPlots
using Distributions

astrom_like = PlanetRelAstromLikelihood(Table(;
    epoch= [50000,50120,50240,50360,50480,50600,50720,50840,],
    ra = [-505.764,-502.57,-498.209,-492.678,-485.977,-478.11,-469.08,-458.896,],
    dec = [-66.9298,-37.4722,-7.92755,21.6356, 51.1472, 80.5359, 109.729, 138.651,],
    σ_ra = fill(10.0, 8),
    σ_dec = fill(10.0, 8),
    cor = fill(0.0, 8)
))
@planet b Visual{KepOrbit} begin
    a ~ truncated(Normal(10, 4), lower=0, upper=100)
    e ~ Uniform(0.0, 0.5)
    i ~ Sine()
    ω ~ UniformCircular()
    Ω ~ UniformCircular()
    θ ~ UniformCircular()
    tp = θ_at_epoch_to_tperi(system,b,50420)  # reference epoch for θ. Choose an MJD date near your data.
end astrom_like
@system Tutoria begin
    M ~ truncated(Normal(1.2, 0.1), lower=0)
    plx ~ truncated(Normal(50.0, 0.02), lower=0)
end b

We can now draw one sample from the prior:

prior_draw_system = generate_from_params(Tutoria)
prior_draw_astrometry = prior_draw_system.planets.b.observations[4]
PlanetRelAstromLikelihood Table with 5 columns and 8 rows:
     epoch  ra        dec       σ_ra  σ_dec
   ┌───────────────────────────────────────
 1 │ 50000  -176.602  -7.18943  10.0  10.0
 2 │ 50120  -135.395  0.89849   10.0  10.0
 3 │ 50240  -90.0555  8.96135   10.0  10.0
 4 │ 50360  -42.1243  16.7705   10.0  10.0
 5 │ 50480  6.94372   24.1362   10.0  10.0
 6 │ 50600  55.8582   30.9122   10.0  10.0
 7 │ 50720  103.529   36.9935   10.0  10.0
 8 │ 50840  149.074   42.3117   10.0  10.0

And plot the generated astrometry:

Makie.scatter(prior_draw_astrometry.table.ra, prior_draw_astrometry.table.dec,color=:black, axis=(;autolimitaspect=1,xreversed=true))
Example block output

We can repeat this many times to get a feel for our chosen priors in the domain of our data:

using Random
Random.seed!(1)


fig = Figure()
ax = Axis(
    fig[1,1], xlabel="ra offset [mas]", ylabel="dec offset [mas]",
    xreversed=true,
    aspect=1
)
for i in 1:50
    prior_draw_system = generate_from_params(Tutoria)
    prior_draw_astrometry = prior_draw_system.planets.b.observations[4]
    Makie.scatter!(
        ax,
        prior_draw_astrometry.table.ra,
        prior_draw_astrometry.table.dec,
        color=Makie.cgrad(:turbo)[i/50],
    )
end

fig
Example block output

The heavy black crosses are our actual data, while the colored ones are simulations drawn from our priors. Notice that our real data lies at a greater separation than most draws from the prior? That might mean the priors could be tweaked.