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Extra Sums of Squares: Definition

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What is Extra Sums of Squares?

Extra Sums of Squares (ESS) is the difference in the Error Sums of Squares (SSE) of two models. More specifically, ESS is a measure of the marginal reduction in Error Sums of Squares (SSE) when an additional set of predictors is added to the model.

It is a tool for model comparison, comprised of a single number. If ESS = 0, the models are identical.

Formula and Example

The formula for Extra Sums of Squares is:

ESS = Residual sum of squares (reduced) – Residual Sum of Squares (full).

Let’s say your model contains one predictor variable, X1. If you add a second predictor, X2 to the model, ESS explains the additional variation explained by X2. We can write that as:
SSR (X2 | X1).

In terms of SSE, let’s say you have a model with one predictor variable, X1. You add a variable X2 to a model. Extra Sums of Squares explains the part of SSE not explained by the original variable (X1). We can write that as:
SSR (X2 | X1) = X1 – (X1, X2)


Marasinghe, M. & Kennedy, W. (2008). SAS for Data Analysis: Intermediate Statistical Methods. Springer Science and Business Media. Retrieved September 9, 2019 from:
Olbricht, G. Lecture 13: Extra Sums of Squares. Article posted on Purdue University website. Retrieved September 10, 2019 from:
Ramsey, F. & Schafer, D. The Statistical Sleuth: A Course in Methods of Data Analysis. Retrieved September 10, 2019 from:

Stephanie Glen. "Extra Sums of Squares: Definition" From Elementary Statistics for the rest of us!

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