# On using mixtures and modes of mixtures in data analysis

Abstract (Summary)

iii
My thesis includes two topics: modal local polynomial regression and label switching
for Bayesian mixtures.
Modal Local Polynomial Regression
By combining the ideas of local polynomial regression (LPR) and modal regression, we
created a new adaptive robust nonparametric regression method – “modal local polynomial
regression (MLPR).” We have successfully proved that asymptotically MLPR
produces smaller mean square error (MSE) than LPR when there are outliers or when
the error distribution has a heavier tail than the normal distribution. Furthermore, unlike
other general robust methods, this new method achieves robustness without sacrificing
efficiency. In fact, in cases where there are no outliers or where the error distribution
has a light tail (e.g. Gaussian distribution), MLPR produces results that are at least as
good as the local polynomial method.
By adding one more tuning parameter, MLPR performs better than the traditional
LPR. Specifically, suppose the bivariate data {(xi, yi), i = 1, ..., n} are independent
and identically sampled from the model: Y = m(X) + ?, where E(? | X) = 0. Our focus
is to estimate the smooth function m(x). For any given x0, using Taylor’s expansion
in the neighborhood of x0: m(x) ? ?p
v=0 m(v)(x0)(x ? x0)v/v! , LPR fits the above
polynomial regression locally at x0 by minimizing the weighted least square criterion
? ?
n? p?
?Kh(xi ? x0) ?yi ? ?j(xi ? x0)j
?2
?
?
? ,
i=1 j=0
where Kh(t) = h?1K(t/h), K(t) is a symmetric probability density function. Denote
ˆ? = ( ˆ
?0, . . . , ˆ
?p) the solution to minimize the above formula. We estimate m(v)(x0) by
iv
v! ˆ
?v, v = 0, . . . , p. Specifically, when v = 0, we estimate m(x0) by ˆ
?0.
In comparison, MLPR estimates ˆ
? by maximizing the objective function
?
n?
?Kh1(xi ? x0)?h2(y
p?
i ? ?j(xi ? x0)j
?
)? ,
i=1 j=0
where ?h2(t) = h?1
2 ?(t/h2), ?(t) is the standard normal density function, and h2 is a
constant depending on error distribution. If p = 0, which is the modal local constant
model, ˆ
?0 represents the conditional mode of a kernel density estimator, conditional on
x = x0. The EM algorithm for finding the modes of mixtures (Li, Ray, and Lindsay,
2007) can be extended to find ˆ
?. In the E Step we calculate: ?(j | ?(k)) ? K
h1
(xj ?
x0)?
h2(yj??p
n?
j=1
l=0 ?(k)
l
[
?(j | ?(k)) log
(xj?x0)l). In the M Step, we find ?(k+1) by maximizing the function
(
?h2(yj ? ?p
l=0 ?l(xj ? x0)l )]
) with respect to ? = (?0, . . . , ?p). The
added robustness can be seen in the E step by the inclusion of ?
h2(yj ? ?p
l=0 ?l(xj ?x0)l)
as a weight function. As a result, any outliers are weighted less under MLPR. Notice that
h2 ? ?, ?(j | ?(k)) ? K
h1
(xj ?x0), then MLPR is exactly the same as LPR. Therefore,
robustness is achieved without sacrificing efficiency. We have successfully found the way
to select the adaptive optimal bandwidth h2 based on the asymptotic MSE.
We can also extend MLPR to simple linear regression to create a robust linear
regression – “modal linear regression (MLR)”. Instead of using least square ?n
i=1(yi ?
?0 ? ?1xi)2, the loss function ?n
i=1 ?h(yi ? ?0 ? ?1xi) is used to estimate the regression
parameters ? = (?0, ?1). Due to similar reasons stated above, we can achieve robustness
without sacrificing efficiency.
v
Label Switching for Bayesian Mixtures
One of the most fundamental problems for Bayesian mixture model estimation is
label switching. We mainly propose two methods to solve this problem. One solution is
to use the modes of the posterior distribution to do labelling. In order to find the posterior
modes, we successfully created an algorithm to find the posterior modes of Bayesian
mixtures by using the ideas of ECM (Meng and Rubin, 1993) and Gibbs sampler. This
labelling method creates a natural and intuitive partition of the parameter space into
labelled regions and has a nice explanation based on the highest posterior region (HPD).
The other main solution is to do labelling by minimizing the normal likelihood of the
labelled Gibbs samples. Unlike order constraint method, this new method can be easily
extended to high dimension case and is scale invariant to the component parameters. In
addition, this labelling method can be also used to solve label switching in frequentist
case.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:

ISBN:

Date of Publication: