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Regression classes

The JAS-mine Core libraries support several types of regressions, including:
  • Linear Regression
  • Logistic (Logit) Regression
  • Probit Regression
  • Multinomial Logistic (Logit) Regression
  • Multinomial Probit Regression
The relevant classes can be found in the microsim.statistics.regression package of the core JAS-mine libraries.  The regression objects store the regression coefficients (the 'betas') of a regression.  When they are passed another object such as an agent that holds the corresponding regressor or 'covariate' values (the 'x's in a regression), these objects can return a variety of values corresponding to linear regression 'scores', logit / probit 'probabilities' or random outcome from a binary event (i.e. whether an outcome takes place).  Multinomial logit or probit regression objects return the random outcome from a finite set of possible outcomes.

1. Basic Regression Objects: linear, logit and probit

1.1 Creation of the regression objects

The Demo07 demo example uses the LinearRegression and LogitRegression classes, and also the extra functionality provided by static methods in the RegressionUtils class.

For example, in the Parameters class, the regression objects are created, as shown below:

// regression coefficients
MultiKeyCoefficientMap coeffMarriageFit = ExcelAssistant.loadCoefficientMap("input/reg_marriage.xls", "Sheet1", 1, 1);

MultiKeyCoefficientMap coeffDivorce = ExcelAssistant.loadCoefficientMap("input/reg_divorce.xls", "Sheet1", 1, 1);

MultiKeyCoefficientMap coeffInWork = ExcelAssistant.loadCoefficientMap("input/reg_inwork.xls", "Sheet1", 3, 1);

// definition of regression models
LinearRegression regMarriageFit = new LinearRegression(coeffMarriageFit);
LogitRegressio regDivorce = new LogitRegression(coeffDivorce);
LogitRegressio regInWork = new LogitRegression(coeffInWork);

The first few lines take regression coefficients from Microsoft Excel .xls files that are stored in the project's input folder, and the ExcelAssistant.loadCoefficientMap() method converts them into MultiKeyCoefficientMap types. The MultiKeyCoefficientMap type, found in the package of the core JAS-mine libraries, is a class that extends the Apache Commons MultiKeyMap type, allowing users to retrieve regression coefficients depending on multiple keys that correspond to the regressor (covariate) and the attributes of the agent. The last two arguments in the loadCoefficientMap() method refer to the number of key columns and the number of value columns respectively.  All MultiKeyCoefficientMaps have one value column - the regression coefficients.  The "Sheet1" argument refers to the name of the relevant Excel worksheet; an alternative approach could be to place all regression coefficients in the same .xls file called ‘reg_coefficients’, but store coefficients for different regressions in different worksheets, for example named ‘marriage’, ‘divorce’, ‘inWork’ etc.

The last three lines of the code box creates regression objects whose argument is the MultiKeyCoefficientMap of regression coefficients.  In particular, regMarriageFit is a LinearRegression object, whilst regDivorce and regInWork are LogitRegression objects.  ProbitRegression objects are created in a similar way.

An example of the information used in the reg_inwork.xls file is shown below; note that it has three key columns, hence the second argument of the loadCoefficientMap() method used to create the coeffInWork object is '3'.  As you can see from the data below, the first column lists the regressor (or 'covariate') names, and the second and third columns specify the conditions of the agent that need to be checked when applying the regression object - different regression coefficients apply to different types of agent (in this case, the relevant agent attributes are their gender and their work status ('gender' and 'workState' are the names of the agent's relevant fields). 

Note that it is important, when using .xls files to hold regression coefficients, to follow the convention of using the header 'REGRESSOR' for the regressors column and 'COEFFICIENT' for the coefficients column.  This is because the JAS-mine methods check MultiKeyCoefficientMaps for these column headers when performing calculations for regression functionality such as bootstrapping (using the RegressionUtils.bootstrap() method).  Indeed, REGRESSOR and COEFFICIENT are special enum constants of the Enum RegressionColumnNames class in the microsim.statistics.regression package.

age Male Employed -0.196599
ageSq Male Employed 0.0086552
ageCub Male Employed -0.000988
isMarried Male Employed 0.1892796
workIntercept Male Employed 3.554612
age Male NotEmployed 0.9780908
ageSq Male NotEmployed -0.0261765
ageCub Male NotEmployed 0.000199
workIntercept Male NotEmployed -12.39108
age Female Employed -0.2740483
ageSq Female Employed 0.0109883
ageCub Female Employed -0.0001159
isMarried Female Employed -0.0906834
workIntercept Female Employed 3.648706
age Female NotEmployed 0.8217638
ageSq Female NotEmployed -0.0219761
ageCub Female NotEmployed 0.000166
isMarried Female NotEmployed -0.5590975
workIntercept Female NotEmployed -10.48043

1.2 How to use the Linear Regression objects

Linear regression objects return the score of the linear regression, i.e. the inner product of the regression coefficients with the regressors (the sum over i of beta_i * x_i).  This can be invoked as in the following example, where the Person object called 'ross' provides the regressor values (the 'x's) to the LinearRegression object, which holds the regression coefficients (the betas).

double marriageScore = Parameters.getRegMarriageFit().getScore(ross, Person.Regressors.class);

This case uses the getScore() method with signature:

public <T extends Enum<T>> double getScore(IDoubleSource iDblSrc, Class<T> enumType)

This is because the Person class implements the IDoubleSource interface - this is how the Person class retrieves the correct regressor values, using the Person.Regressors inner enum class.  Note that these methods require the specification of the Person.Regressors inner enum class.  As seen in the Person class of the Demo07 demo example model:

// ---------------------------------------------------------------------
// implements IDoubleSource for use with Regression classes
// ---------------------------------------------------------------------

public enum Regressors {

    //For in work regression


public double getDoubleValue(Enum<?> variableID) {

    switch ((Regressors) variableID) {

    //For work regression
    case age:
        return (double) age;
    case ageSq:
        return (double) age * age;
    case ageCub:
        return (double) age * age * age;
    case isMarried:
        return civilState.equals(CivilState.Married)? 1. : 0.;
    case workIntercept:
        return 1.;            //The constant intercept, so regression coefficient is multiplied by 1

        throw new IllegalArgumentException("Unsupported regressor " + + " in                                                                                                 Person.getDoubleValue");



There are other getScore() methods that also return the linear regression score but use different input arguments - see the Javadocs of JAS-mine-core's microsim.statistics.regression package.

1.3 How to use the Logit and Probit regression objects

The logit and probit regression objects return the logit or probit transforms of the linear regression score, respectively.  As these transforms produce numbers bounded in the interval [0, 1], they are often interpreted as 'probabilities' that an event occurs or not (an event with a binary outcome).  Hence logit and probit regressions are used to model the outcome of binary events.

The methods available in the LinearRegression and ProbitRegression classes include getProbability(), which returns the 'probability' (i.e. the logit and probit transform of the linear regression score), and event(), which returns a boolean representing whether the event outcome is true or false (i.e. whether the outcome is deemed to occur or not).  The event() method generates a random boolean whose value is true with probability equal to the value returned by the getProbability() method; conversely the boolean is false with probability equal to 1-getProbability().

In the Demo07 example model, we can see how the logit 'probability' is used to calculate the probability that Person object 'ross' is in work:

double workProb = Parameters.getRegInWork().getProbability(ross, Person.Regressors.class, ross,                                                                                                                                                                                                           Person.RegressionKeys.class);

We could directly calculate the random boolean variable to determine whether Person object 'ross' is in work as follows:

boolean inWork = Parameters.getRegInWork().event(ross, Person.Regressors.class, ross,                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Person.RegressionKeys.class);

Note that these methods require the specification of the Person.RegressionKeys inner enum class.  As seen in the Person class of the Demo07 demo example model:

// ---------------------------------------------------------------------
// implements IObjectSource for use with Regression classes
// ---------------------------------------------------------------------

public enum RegressionKeys {



public Object getObjectValue(Enum<?> variableID) {

    switch ((RegressionKeys) variableID) {

    //For marriage regression
    case gender:
        return gender;
    case workState:
        return workState;
        throw new IllegalArgumentException("Unsupported regressor " +;



Just like the LinearRegression class, there are several version of the getProbability() and event() methods that cater for different input arguments:

boolean event(IDoubleSource, Class<T>);
boolean event(IDoubleSource, Class<T>, IObjectSource, Class<U>);
boolean event(Map<String, Double>);
boolean event(Object);

double getProbability(IDoubleSource, Class<T>);
double getProbability(IDoubleSource, Class<T>, IObjectSource, Class<U>);
double getProbability(Map<String, Double>);
double getProbability(Object);

The different versions employ the corresponding methods from the LinearRegression class to calculate the regression score, so their usage follows the same conventions outlined in the Javadocs extract in section 1.2.

2. Multinomial logit and probit regression objects

Multinomial logit and probit regressions are used to determine the outcome of random events, where the outcome is taken from a finite set of possible outcomes.  Respectively, they are the multi-outcome analogues of the logit and probit regressions, which is only suitable at modelling binary outcomes.  In the case for N possible outcomes, it works by comparing the logistic or probit transform of the linear regression scores for N-1 outcomes, with the Nth outcome deemed to have a score of 0.  From this, it creates relative probabilities of outcomes, which can then be sampled to determine which of the N outcomes occurs.

The following section discusses MultiProbitRegression objects, however MultiLogitRegression objects are used in the same way, the only difference being that the logistic transform is used to map the linear regression score to a probability, instead of the probit transform.

2.1 Creation of the regression objects

The creation of MultiProbitRegression objects are slightly more involved as the MultiProbitRegression class accepts a HashMap of MultiKeyCoefficientMaps (each MultiKeyCoefficientMap stores regression coefficients corresponding to a unique outcome), so we need to create the Hashmap first.  

Imagine we want to create a MultiProbitRegression object to model a random outcome that could have three possible states, it is necessary to supply two MultiKeyCoefficientMaps representing two sets of coefficients to model two of the three possible states, whilst the third outcome is considered the 'default' mode.

In the example below, we model the education level of agents in a simulation by specifying the regression coefficients for low and high education levels, with medium education as the default outcome.  After first creating the MultiKeyCoefficientMaps of the two sets of regression coefficients, possibly taking these from Microsoft Excel .xls files as described in section 1.1, we then create a HashMap whose keys map an outcome (an Education enum constant representing the education level) to the corresponding regression coefficients.  The MultiProbitRegression object is then created in the following way:

// Regression Coefficients
MultiKeyCoefficientMap coeffEducationLow = ExcelAssistant.loadCoefficientMap                                                                                    ("input/reg_education.xls", "Low", 1, 1);

MultiKeyCoefficientMap coeffEducationHigh = ExcelAssistant.loadCoefficientMap                                                                                ("input/reg_education.xls", "High", 1, 1);

// Create HashMap to hold the regression coefficient MultiKeyCoefficientMaps
HashMap<Education, MultiKeyCoefficientMap> educationCoefficientMap = new HashMap<Education,                                                                                     MultiKeyCoefficientMap>();

educationCoefficientMap.put(Education.Low, coeffEducationLow);
educationCoefficientMap.put(Education.High, coeffEducationHigh);

// Create the MultiProbitRegression object
MultiProbitRegression regEducationLevel = new MultiProbitRegression<Education>                                                                                                (educationCoefficientMap);

2.2 How to use the regression objects

The outcome of an event modelled by the MultiProbitRegression object is determined in the following way for a Person object 'ross':  

Education education = Parameters.getRegEducationLevel().eventType(IDoubleSource ross, Person.Regressors.class, Education.class);

Note that the Person class implements the IDoubleSource interface, which is how the value of the regressors ('regression covariates') are passed to the MultiProbitRegression object.  An example of how this might be implemented in the Person class is in section 1.2, although the cases in the getDoubleValue() method must correspond to the regressors (covariates) used in the regression.  The last argument specifies the return type T of the eventType() method and should always match the type on the left hand side.

Similarly to Linear, Logit and Probit regression classes, there are several version of the eventType() method depending on the input arguments:

T eventType(IDoubleSource, Class<E>, Class<T>);
T eventType(Map<String, Double>);
T eventType(Object);

The different versions employ the corresponding methods from the LinearRegression class to calculate the regression scores of each outcome, which are subsequently used to calculate the probit transforms of each outcome, so their usage follows the same conventions outlined in the Javadocs referenced in section 1.2.

3. Bootstrap methods to address parameter uncertainty

The sources of uncertainty within a simulation model are discussed in the Uncertainty analysis page.  In order to address the issue of parameter uncertainty, JAS-mine provides methods to 'bootstrap' the regression coefficients of the model easily.  Bootstrapping involves sampling the set of regression coefficients of a regression object from a multivariate normal distribution whose vector of expected values (means) are the set of regression coefficients estimated from the data, with the covariance matrix derived from the statistical error of the estimates.

The new sample of ('bootstrapped') regression coefficients can then be used in a simulation run and the output recorded.  The process can then be repeated by sampling a new set of bootstrapped regression coefficients to be used in another simulation run.  By repeating this many times, an understanding of how parameter uncertainty affects the dynamics of the model can be developed, and estimates of the uncertainty of the model evolution can be quantified and visualised as in the Figure of the Uncertainty analysis page.  The MultiRun class can be used to execute the repeated run of simulations, as described in the tutorial How to run a simulation many times (design of experiments).

3.1 Linear or Binary choice (Logit / Probit) bootstrapping

There are two methods to perform bootstrapping on a single set of regression coefficients, corresponding to a Linear, Logit or Probit regression class.  The difference between the use of each method depends on if you want to submit the regression coefficients and covariance matrix as separate MultiKeyCoefficientMaps to the bootstrap method, or whether you have a single MultiKeyCoefficientMap containing the numbers for both coefficients and covariance matrix. 

The example below demonstrated how to bootstrap regression coefficients, where the covariance matrix is passed to the method as a separate argument:

// Create MultiKeyCoefficientMaps from Excel spreadsheet containing separate worksheets
MultiKeyCoefficientMap coeffParticipationMales = ExcelAssistant.loadCoefficientMap                                                    ("input/reg_participationMales.xls", "RegressionCoefficients", 1, 1);

MultiKeyCoefficientMap covarianceParticipationMales = ExcelAssistant.loadCoefficientMap                                                    ("input/reg_participationMales.xls", "CovarianceMatrix", 1, 10);

// Call the bootstrap method for separate coefficient and covariance matrix MultiKeyCoefficientMaps
MultiKeyCoefficientMap newCoeffParticipationMales = RegressionUtils.bootstrap(coeffParticipationMales,                                                                         covarianceParticipationMales);

// Create Regression object from the new bootstrapped regression coefficients
ProbitRegression regParticipationMales = new ProbitRegression(newCoeffParticipationMales);

The resulting newCoeffParticipationMales object contains the new regression coefficients to be passed to the ProbitRegression object.   Note that the covariance matrix is a 10 by 10 matrix, which can be seen by the 10 values columns specified in the loadCoefficientMap function call to create the covarianceParticipationMales object.

The alternative bootstrap method only takes one MultiKeyCoefficientMap argument and relies upon the naming of the keys and values of the map.  Considering the map as having been created from an Excel spreadsheet, the key column on the left hand side of the Excel worksheet must be titled 'REGRESSOR' and contain the names of all the covariates.  To the right of the 'REGRESSOR' column, there must be a column containing the regression coefficients called 'COEFFICIENT', and a separate column named after each covariate that holds the covariance data between the row covariate and the column covariate.  This means that when loading the data from the Excel worksheet using the .loadCoefficientMap, the number of key columns will be 1, whilst the number of values columns will be 11 (one for the regression coefficients, and 10 for the covariance matrix data), as can be seen in the example code below:

// Create MultiKeyCoefficientMap containing both regression coefficients and covariance matrix
MultiKeyCoefficientMap coeffsAndCovariance_ParticipationMales = ExcelAssistant.loadCoefficientMap                                    ("input/reg_participationMales.xls", "coeffs_And_Covariance", 1, 11);

// Call the bootstrap method for combined regression coefficient and covariance matrix
MultiKeyCoefficientMap newCoeffParticipationMales = RegressionUtils.bootstrap                                                                                                                                                                                    (coeffsAndCovariance_ParticipationMales);

// Create Regression object from the new bootstrapped regression coefficients
ProbitRegression regParticipationMales = new ProbitRegression(newCoeffParticipationMales);

The probit regression object is created in the same way as before.

3.2 Multinomial bootstrapping (for Multinomial Logit / Probit Regressions)

The bootstrap method for the case of multinomial regression is called 'bootstrapMultinomialRegression', and the method returns an object that is required by the constructor methods of the MultiLogitRegression or MultiProbitRegression classes in order to create the regression objects.  As discussed in section 2.1, this object is a Map whose keys are enum constants representing the outcome of the multinomial regression, and whose values are MultiKeyCoefficientMaps storing the set of regression coefficients for the particular outcome key.  The bootstrapMultinomialRegression method bootstraps the sets of regression coefficients in each MultiKeyCoefficientMap.

There are two input arguments to the bootstrapMultinomialRegression method: 1) the original outcome-coefficients Map that would normally be used to directly construct a multinomial regression object, 2) a MultiKeyCoefficientMap storing the covariance matrix data, combined for all outcomes.  Note that in this case, the covariance matrix must contain all the cross-variance terms for all outcomes and all covariates - to repeat, only one covariance matrix is used and it covers all outcomes of the multinomial regression.  This means that the (square) covariance matrix has dimensions of the size (N-1) times the number of covariates per outcome, or N times the number of covariates per outcome in the case where the base ('default') outcome is specified.  (Note, the same covariates should appear for each outcome).

The use of the bootstrapMultinomialRegression method is demonstrated below:

// Load Low Education Outcome regression coefficients from Excel spreadsheet
MultiKeyCoefficientMap coeffEducationLow = ExcelAssistant.loadCoefficientMap                                                                                    ("input/reg_education.xls", "Low", 1, 1);

// Load High Education Outcome regression coefficients     
MultiKeyCoefficientMap coeffEducationHigh = ExcelAssistant.loadCoefficientMap                                                                                ("input/reg_education.xls", "High", 1, 1);

// Create Outcome-Coefficients Map      
Map<Education, MultiKeyCoefficientMap> coeffEducationLowHighMap = new HashMap<Education,                                                                                     MultiKeyCoefficientMap>();

coeffEducationLowHighMap.put(Education.Low, coeffEducationLow);
coeffEducationLowHighMap.put(Education.High, coeffEducationHigh);

// Load Covariance Matrix from Excel spreadsheet (combined data for Low and High Education covariances
// There are 2 outcomes (Low and High Education), and the same 8 covariates for each outcome, hence
// the number of values columns in the Excel worksheet is 16
MultiKeyCoefficientMap educationLowHighCombinedCovariance = ExcelAssistant.loadCoefficientMap                                        ("input/reg_education.xls", "Covariance", 1, 16);

// Bootstrap the regression coefficients for all outcomes
Map<Education, MultiKeyCoefficientMap> newCoeffEducationLowHighMap =                                                         RegressionUtils.boostrapMultinomialRegression(coeffEducationLowHighMap,                                                     educationLowHighCombinedCovariance, Education.class);

// Create regression object from the new bootstrapped regression coefficients in the outcome-
// coefficient map      
MultiProbitRegression<Education> regEducationLevel = new MultiProbitRegression<Education>                                                                                 (newCoeffEducationLowHighMap);

Note that the resulting Map returned by the bootstrapMultinomialRegression method is then used as the input argument to construct the MultiProbitRegression object.