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## RE: regress vs polyfit

 From: Mike Miller Subject: RE: regress vs polyfit Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 02:26:29 -0500 (CDT) User-agent: Alpine 2.00 (DEB 1167 2008-08-23)

```On Mon, 20 Jun 2011, address@hidden wrote:

```
```From Thomas Grzybowski:

```
I am new to octave and want to fit a single regression line to some data. I have been using polyfit, and was looking at regress, but I find regress confusing. From the regress "Help":
```
```
* `X' is a matrix of regressors, with the first column filled with the constant value 1
```
```
I do not understand the help instructions. My data is simply x,y pairs - what is this help about - "the constant value 1" ?
```
```
The program appears to fit an equation like y = a0*x0+a1*x1+a2*x2... where a0 is the constant term and the x0's are all 1, so that if you didn't want a constant term you would just omit that first column.
```

```
I'm sure that's right. This is the standard way of doing things. In this equation...
```
y = X*b + e

```
...y and e are vectors of length N, X is an N x p matrix and b is a vector of length p. If you have X and y and you want the least-squares solution for b, do this:
```
b = X\y ;

That's the easiest way.

```
To have an intercept term in the model, there has to be a column of ones in the X matrix. The b element that corresponds to that column of ones (normally the first column) is the intercept.
```
Mike

```

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