Bayesian additive regression trees: A review and look forward

Jennifer Hill, Antonio Linero, Jared Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Bayesian additive regression trees (BART) provides a flexible approach to fitting a variety of regression models while avoiding strong parametric assumptions. The sum-of-trees model is embedded in a Bayesian inferential framework to support uncertainty quantification and provide a principled approach to regularization through prior specification. This article presents the basic approach and discusses further development of the original algorithm that supports a variety of data structures and assumptions. We describe augmentations of the prior specification to accommodate higher dimensional data and smoother functions. Recent theoretical developments provide justifications for the performance observed in simulations and other settings. Use of BART in causal inference provides an additional avenue for extensions and applications. We discuss software options as well as challenges and future directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-278
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Statistics and Its Application
StatePublished - Mar 7 2020


  • Bayesian nonparametrics
  • causal inference
  • machine learning
  • regression
  • regularization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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