The Theory is Predictive, But Is It Complete? An Application to Human Perception of Randomness (joint with Jon Kleinberg and Sendhil Mullainathan)

Last updated: July 15, 2017


Abstract. When testing a theory, we should ask not just whether its predictions match what we see in the data, but also about its "completeness": how much of the predictable variation in the data does the theory capture? Defining completeness is conceptually challenging, but we show how methods based on machine learning can provide tractable measures of completeness. We also identify a model domain -- the human perception and generation of randomness -- where measures of completeness can be feasibly analyzed; from these measures we discover there is significant structure in the problem that existing theories have yet to capture.