# Bayesian inference from normal distribution

A friend asked me this question from Bertsekas's probability book. The question is about some algebraic manipulation at the bottom, but the entire passage is included for context and $d$ is a constant that depends on $x_i$ but not $\theta$ (this last part got cut off in the image)
Our question is about why $$c_1c_2 \cdot \exp \big( -\sum_{i=0}^n \frac{(x_i- \theta)^2}{2 \sigma_i^2} \big)=d \cdot \exp \big( \frac{-( \theta -m)^2}{2v} \big)$$ As stated, this should just be by "some algebra, which involves completing the square...". Some confusions are that the square already looks complete on both sides, and whether $d$ may depend on the $\sigma_i^2$. We've tried to show this but the expressions just got uglier and uglier. Thanks in advance for any help.

In the step that you are referencing, the square is to be completed on $\theta$: the LHS is not complete because the exponent is a sum of squares, and it needs to be rewritten as a normal likelihood with respect to the posterior distribution of $\theta$.
\begin{align*} \sum_{i=1}^n \frac{(x_i - \theta)^2}{2\sigma_i^2} &= \frac{1}{2} \sum_{i=1}^n \left(\frac{\theta^2}{\sigma_i^2} - \frac{2x_i}{\sigma_i^2} \theta + \frac{x_i^2}{\sigma_i^2}\right) \\ &= \frac{1}{2} \left( \frac{\theta^2}{v} - 2 \frac{m}{v} \theta + \sum_{i=1}^n \frac{x_i^2}{\sigma_i^2} \right) \\ &= \frac{1}{2v} \left( (\theta^2 - 2m \theta + m^2) - m^2 + v \sum_{i=1}^n \frac{x_i^2}{\sigma_i^2} \right) \\ &= \frac{(\theta-m)^2}{2v} + C, \end{align*} where $C$ is a constant that does not depend on $\theta$. Then, when taking the exponential, $\exp(-C)$ turns into the multiplicative constant $d$ used by the text.
• Thank you so much, of course we naturally tried expanding the LHS. We just didn't recognize to complete the square wrt $\theta$, or what to "absorb" into the constant term $d$, so everything got messier and messier. – Jason Mar 15 '17 at 21:44