Statistical inference for varying coefficient models



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Kansas State University


This dissertation contains two projects that are related to varying coefficient models. The traditional least squares based kernel estimates of the varying coefficient model will lose some efficiency when the error distribution is not normal. In the first project, we propose a novel adaptive estimation method that can adapt to different error distributions and provide an efficient EM algorithm to implement the proposed estimation. The asymptotic properties of the resulting estimator is established. Both simulation studies and real data examples are used to illustrate the finite sample performance of the new estimation procedure. The numerical results show that the gain of the adaptive procedure over the least squares estimation can be quite substantial for non-Gaussian errors. In the second project, we propose a unified inference for sparse and dense longitudinal data in time-varying coefficient models. The time-varying coefficient model is a special case of the varying coefficient model and is very useful in longitudinal/panel data analysis. A mixed-effects time-varying coefficient model is considered to account for the within subject correlation for longitudinal data. We show that when the kernel smoothing method is used to estimate the smooth functions in the time-varying coefficient model for sparse or dense longitudinal data, the asymptotic results of these two situations are essentially different. Therefore, a subjective choice between the sparse and dense cases may lead to wrong conclusions for statistical inference. In order to solve this problem, we establish a unified self-normalized central limit theorem, based on which a unified inference is proposed without deciding whether the data are sparse or dense. The effectiveness of the proposed unified inference is demonstrated through a simulation study and a real data application.



Varying coefficient models, Adaptive estimation, Local maximum likelihood, Dense longitudinal data, Sparse longitudinal data, Self-normalization

Graduation Month



Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Statistics

Major Professor

Weixin Yao