Selecting tuning parameters in minimum distance estimators

Warwick, Jane (2002). Selecting tuning parameters in minimum distance estimators. PhD thesis The Open University.



Many minimum distance estimators have the potential to provide parameter estimates which are both robust and efficient and yet, despite these highly desirable theoretical properties, they are rarely used in practice. This is because the performance of these estimators is rarely guaranteed per se but obtained by placing a suitable value on some tuning parameter. Hence there is a risk involved in implementing these methods because if the value chosen for the tuning parameter is inappropriate for the data to which the method is applied, the resulting estimators may not have the desired theoretical properties and could even perform less well than one of the simpler, more widely used alternatives. There are currently no data-based methods available for deciding what value one should place on these tuning parameters hence the primary aim of this research is to develop an objective way of selecting values for the tuning parameters in minimum distance estimators so that the full potential of these estimators might be realised. This new method was initially developed to optimise the performance of the density power divergence estimator, which was proposed by Basu, Harris, Hjort and Jones [3]. The results were very promising so the method was then applied to two other minimum distance estimators and the results compared.

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