Adventures in Machine Learning

OLS Regression in Python: Analyzing Relationships Between Variables

OLS Regression: Anto Linear Regression Analysis and Its Applications in Python

Linear regression is one of the most commonly used statistical analysis methods, which involves understanding the relationship between two variables. It’s used to determine the strength of the relationship between the dependent variable (the target variable) and one or more independent variables (predictors) and can help in making predictions or estimating the values of the dependent variables.

OLS stands for “ordinary least squares” and is a widely used method in linear regression analysis. It’s an estimation method used to analyze linear relationships between the dependent and independent variables.

OLS regression is widely used in many domains such as finance, economics, medicine, and social sciences. This article will provide an introduction to OLS regression and its applications in Python.

Applying OLS Regression in Python

Python is a popular programming language that provides various libraries to perform OLS regression, making data analysis much more accessible. The statsmodels and numpy libraries in Python provide functions that allow for performing OLS regression.

The process of OLS regression generally involves the following steps:

1. Importing libraries: Import necessary libraries such as pandas, statsmodels, and numpy.

2. Loading the data: Load the data to be analyzed into the program.

3. Exploring the data: Analyze the data’s basic statistics, check for any missing values, or assess the data’s normality.

These are all important aspects as this will train the model. 4.

Carrying out OLS regression: Use the OLS function from the statsmodels library to analyze and interpret the data by specifying the predictor and dependent variables for regression.

Example of OLS regression with a single predictor variable in Python

To demonstrate how OLS regression works, let’s consider a sample dataset that involves analyzing the impact of education on salary. Here, the predictor variable is education, and the dependent variable is the salary of individuals.

Following is an example code that carries out OLS regression with a single predictor variable:


import pandas as pd

import statsmodels.formula.api as smf

# Load the dataset

data = pd.read_csv(‘education_salary.csv’)

# Analyze basic statistics of dataset


model = smf.ols(‘Salary ~ Education’, data=data).fit()



The above code imports the necessary libraries and loads the dataset into the program. The code further explores the dataset’s basic statistics and uses the OLS function from statsmodels to specify the predictor and dependent variables to run OLS regression.

Finally, the code prints out the summary results of the regression model.

Adapting code for multiple predictor variables

Single variable regression, which we have just looked at, is the simplest form of linear regression. However, it’s often essential to consider multiple predictor variables.

When working with one predictor variable is not enough to explain the changes in the dependent variable, the analysis requires including multiple predictor variables. To adapt code for multiple predictor variables, follow the below steps:


Load the dataset as per the aforementioned manner

2. Specify the dependent variable, and the set of predictor variables for OLS regression as per the below example code:


formula = ‘Salary ~ Education + Experience + Position’

model = smf.ols(formula, data=data).fit()



The “formula” in the above code specifies the dependent variable, salary, and the three predictor variables: Education, Experience, and Position.

This code analyses all aforementioned variables at once and, through the model, predicts the salary based on these.

Programming Guide

OLS as a Linear Regression Method in Statistics

Linear regression is one of the most widely used techniques in statistics. It aims to estimate the relationship between two continuous variables (Y and X) so that one may predict Y based on the knowledge of X.

In the case where the linear relationship exists between the dependent variable Y and one independent variable X, OLS regression is the most commonly used method to estimate this relationship. The method works by minimizing the sum of the squared residuals, which are the differences between the model’s predicted values and actual values.

Using statsmodels and numpy libraries in Python for OLS regression

Python is a powerful programming language, widely used in scientific calculations, data management, and visualization. Python’s statsmodels and numpy libraries are convenient tools for carrying out OLS regression and providing users with statistical analysis.

Statsmodels is a library used for regression analysis, hypothesis testing, and more, while Numpy (Numerical Python) is a widely used Python library for scientific computing. Statsmodels provides the OLS() function and other related functions that allow powerful statistical regression modelling.

Users can easily fit their data into the OLS() function and perform regression modelling on a range of predictor and dependent variables. Moreover, it provides a detailed summary of the regression model, which gives insight into how the dependent variable and predictor variables correlate.

Meanwhile, Numpy’s numerical routines facilitate fast numerical computations that are required for carrying out OLS regression. It offers several functions for manipulating multi-dimensional arrays and mathematical functions for carrying out mathematical operations.

Together, these libraries provide a robust and sophisticated platform for users to perform regression modelling in Python language.


OLS regression is widely utilized to understand the relationship between multiple variables. By using the OLS method, researchers can predict the impact of one variable’s increased or decreased value in correlation with the dependent variable, making predictions or estimating the values of dependent variables more effortless.

Using Python programming and various libraries like statsmodels and numpy libraries, we can easily run OLS regression analysis on large datasets. By utilizing these libraries, analysts can get in-depth insight into the relationship between their chosen dependent and independent variables and examine real-world applications, aiding business decisions.

Example of OLS Regression in Python with Multiple Predictor Variables

OLS regression is a powerful tool used to establish the relationship between the dependent and independent variables while predicting the future value of the dependent variable based on the independent variables. In this article, we will use Python to demonstrate how to perform OLS regression analysis efficiently and conveniently when dealing with multiple predictor variables.

Explanation of Sample Data

To enable the reader to comprehend the concept of fitting an OLS model with multiple predictors, we will use an example dataset. The dataset consists of a dependent variable, y, and three independent variables, x1, x2, and x3.


import pandas as pd

data = pd.read_csv(‘example_dataset.csv’)



In the code above, we have loaded the data into our Python environment using the Pandas library. The dataset has five columns, including the dependent variable, `y`, and four independent variables, `x1`, `x2`, and `x3`, and an index column.

The `head()` function displays the first five rows of the dataset for easy review.

Adding Constant Term for Intercept

In OLS regression models, including a constant term (intercept) is essential since it allows the regression equation to pass through the origin. If the constant term is absent, the regression equation will be forced to pass through the origin, resulting in an incorrect model with biased estimates.

We can quickly add a constant term to the regression model with the following code:


import statsmodels.api as sm

x = data[[‘x1’, ‘x2’, ‘x3’]]

y = data[‘y’]

x = sm.add_constant(x)



Here, we have first defined the independent variables, `x1`, `x2`, and `x3`, and dependent variable `y`. The constant term can be added with the `add_constant()` function from the statsmodels API.

With the constant term added, we will print the first five rows of the `x` dataset to confirm that the constant column has been added.

Fitting OLS Model and Printing Results

Once the data has been prepared with constant term added, we can build our OLS regression model using statsmodels’ `OLS()` function and fit the data with `fit()` function. After fitting the model, we can call the `summary()` function to print the regression model’s results, which will give us valuable information like coefficient estimates, p-values, R-squared, etc.

The code for the same is as follows:


model = sm.OLS(y, x).fit()



The code above fits the regression model with `y` as the dependent variable and `x` as the independent variables. Once the model has been fitted, we print out the summary of the results using the `summary()` function.

The summary output provides valuable data such as the R-squared value, coefficient estimates, standard errors, and p-values.

Changing Definition of X for Multiple Predictors

When working with multiple predictor variables, you will want to modify the definition of `x` to include all independent variables in your dataset. Let’s suppose our example dataset contains more than three independent variables.

We can add additional predictors by altering the `x` definition line to include all predictors explicitly. The code for the same is as follows:


x = data[[‘x1’, ‘x2’, ‘x3’, ‘x4’, ‘x5’, ‘x6’]]


With this modification, we have now included six independent variables in our regression model.

Adjusting Inputs to Match Real-World Data

While the purpose of this article is to demonstrate OLS regression analysis with multiple predictor variables, it’s essential to note that real-world data can often pose a challenge to this analysis. Certain data preparation techniques can aid in resolving these challenges.

One such technique is feature scaling, which is used to standardize the independent variables, making them comparable to each other. This technique can be achieved by applying the Z-score normalization to each independent variable.

Another technique is feature engineering, in which new features are derived from existing features to create more meaningful predictors. This technique can help improve the model’s accuracy when used correctly.


OLS regression analysis provides an insight into the relationships between the independent and dependent variables while predicting the future value of the dependent variable based on the independent variables. By using Python’s powerful libraries such as statsmodels and pandas, we can easily carry out OLS regression analysis on large datasets containing multiple predictor variables.

Adopting certain data preparation techniques like feature scaling and feature engineering can further improve the accuracy of the model while working with real-world data. OLS Regression is a widely used technique in statistics that helps establish the relationship between dependent and independent variables while predicting the dependent variable’s future value.

When applying OLS regression to model multiple predictor variables in Python, it is essential to understand the steps involved, including data preparation, constant term addition, and model fitting. Adding more predictor variables can be achieved by modifying the definition of the independent variable.

Furthermore, adopting various data preparation techniques can improve the accuracy of the model when dealing with real-world data. By applying these approaches and taking care in data preparation, researchers can make use of OLS regression analysis to gain valuable insights into complex relationships between variables across many domains.

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