Handling sparse and missing data in functional data analysis: a functional mixed-effects model approach

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This paper investigates a relatively new analysis method for longitudinal data in the framework of functional data analysis. This approach treats longitudinal data as so-called sparse functional data. The first

This paper investigates a relatively new analysis method for longitudinal data in the framework of functional data analysis. This approach treats longitudinal data as so-called sparse functional data. The first section of the paper introduces functional data and the general ideas of functional data analysis. The second section discusses the analysis of longitudinal data in the context of functional data analysis, while considering the unique characteristics of longitudinal data such, in particular sparseness and missing data. The third section introduces functional mixed-effects models that can handle these unique characteristics of sparseness and missingness. The next section discusses a preliminary simulation study conducted to examine the performance of a functional mixed-effects model under various conditions. An extended simulation study was carried out to evaluate the estimation accuracy of a functional mixed-effects model. Specifically, the accuracy of the estimated trajectories was examined under various conditions including different types of missing data and varying levels of sparseness.