Regression Analysis using Matrix Algebra
(General Linear Model)

Oval: Click for Excel file 



You have n pairs of (x,y) data; your task is to fit this data to the equation.

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We do this by finding the values of the coefficients b1, b2, , bk that give the minimum sum of the squares of the residuals between the given and the computed y-values (i.e. the least-squares fit).

Assuming your worksheet has had the x- and y-values entered, the next step is to construct the X matrix which, for n pairs of (x, y) values and k coefficients will of size n by k. The elements of the matrix will be as shown in the table below. If the first term in the equation for y is the intercept then f1(x) will be unity (the number 1) so this will be the value in each element of the first column.














In the figure below we see an example of fitting 6 data points to a quadratic equation (3 coefficients).

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This documents is not the place to offer a proof but it can be shown that one can generate a matrix (here called B) of the coefficients using the formula B = (XTX)-1XTY.

In the top part of figure above we have the (x,y) pairs, the X matrix as just described and its transpose XT. The column of y-values constitutes the Y matrix. In the lower part we first compute XTX and then the inverse (XTX)-1. We next compute XTY and finally we get B from B = (XTX)-1XTY.

The file NonLinearFit.xlsx contains three examples: fitting a linear equation y = b1 + b2x, fitting a quadrat equation y = b1 + b2x+b3x, and a log10(P)= b1 + b2(1/T) + b3log10(T) + b4T. The latter reveals the true value of this method: Solver is unable to get even a reasonable fit.