# Proof: Relationship between R² and maximum log-likelihood

**Index:**The Book of Statistical Proofs ▷ Model Selection ▷ Goodness-of-fit measures ▷ R-squared ▷ Relationship to maximum log-likelihood

**Theorem:** Given a linear regression model with independent observations

the coefficient of determination can be expressed in terms of the maximum log-likelihood as

\[\label{eq:R2-MLL} R^2 = 1 - \left( \exp[\Delta\mathrm{MLL}] \right)^{-2/n}\]where $n$ is the number of observations and $\Delta\mathrm{MLL}$ is the difference in maximum log-likelihood between the model given by \eqref{eq:MLR} and a linear regression model with only a constant regressor.

**Proof:** First, we express the maximum log-likelihood (MLL) of a linear regression model in terms of its residual sum of squares (RSS). The model in \eqref{eq:MLR} implies the following log-likelihood function

such that maximum likelihood estimates are

\[\label{eq:MLR-MLE-beta} \hat{\beta} = (X^\mathrm{T} X)^{-1} X^\mathrm{T} y\] \[\label{eq:MLR-MLE-sigma2} \hat{\sigma}^2 = \frac{1}{n} (y - X\hat{\beta})^\mathrm{T} (y - X\hat{\beta})\]and the residual sum of squares is

\[\label{eq:RSS} \mathrm{RSS} = \sum_{i=1}^n \hat{\varepsilon}_i = \hat{\varepsilon}^\mathrm{T} \hat{\varepsilon} = (y - X\hat{\beta})^\mathrm{T} (y - X\hat{\beta}) = n \cdot \hat{\sigma}^2 \; .\]Since $\hat{\beta}$ and $\hat{\sigma}^2$ are maximum likelihood estimates, plugging them into the log-likelihood function gives the maximum log-likelihood:

\[\label{eq:MLR-MLL} \mathrm{MLL} = \mathrm{LL}(\hat{\beta},\hat{\sigma}^2) = - \frac{n}{2} \log(2\pi\hat{\sigma}^2) - \frac{1}{2\hat{\sigma}^2} (y - X\hat{\beta})^\mathrm{T} (y - X\hat{\beta}) \; .\]With \eqref{eq:RSS} for the first $\hat{\sigma}^2$ and \eqref{eq:MLR-MLE-sigma2} for the second $\hat{\sigma}^2$, the MLL becomes

\[\label{eq:MLR-MLL-RSS} \mathrm{MLL} = - \frac{n}{2} \log(\mathrm{RSS}) - \frac{n}{2} \log \left( \frac{2\pi}{n} \right) - \frac{n}{2} \; .\]Second, we establish the relationship between maximum log-likelihood (MLL) and coefficient of determination (R²). Consider the two models

\[\label{eq:m0-m1} \begin{split} m_0: \; X_0 &= 1_n \\ m_1: \; X_1 &= X \end{split}\]For $m_1$, the residual sum of squares is given by \eqref{eq:RSS}; and for $m_0$, the residual sum of squares is equal to the total sum of squares:

\[\label{eq:TSS} \mathrm{TSS} = \sum_{i=1}^n (y_i - \bar{y})^2 \; .\]Using \eqref{eq:MLR-MLL-RSS}, we can therefore write

\[\label{eq:MLR-DMLL} \Delta\mathrm{MLL} = \mathrm{MLL}(m_1) - \mathrm{MLL}(m_0) = - \frac{n}{2} \log(\mathrm{RSS}) + \frac{n}{2} \log(\mathrm{TSS}) \; .\]Exponentiating both sides of the equation, we have:

\[\label{eq:MLR-DMLL-RTSS} \begin{split} \exp[\Delta\mathrm{MLL}] &= \exp\left[ - \frac{n}{2} \log(\mathrm{RSS}) + \frac{n}{2} \log(\mathrm{TSS}) \right] \\ &= \left( \exp\left[ \log(\mathrm{RSS}) - \log(\mathrm{TSS}) \right] \right)^{-n/2} \\ &= \left( \frac{\exp[\log(\mathrm{RSS})]}{\exp[\log(\mathrm{TSS})]} \right)^{-n/2} \\ &= \left( \frac{\mathrm{RSS}}{\mathrm{TSS}} \right)^{-n/2} \; . \end{split}\]Taking both sides to the power of $-2/n$ and subtracting from 1, we have

\[\label{eq:MLR-DMLL-R2} \begin{split} \left( \exp[\Delta\mathrm{MLL}] \right)^{-2/n} &= \frac{\mathrm{RSS}}{\mathrm{TSS}} \\ 1 - \left( \exp[\Delta\mathrm{MLL}] \right)^{-2/n} &= 1 - \frac{\mathrm{RSS}}{\mathrm{TSS}} = R^2 \end{split}\]which proves the identity given above.

**∎**

**Sources:**

**Metadata:**ID: P14 | shortcut: rsq-mll | author: JoramSoch | date: 2020-01-08, 04:46.