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Testing independence of parallel pseudorandom number streams: incorporating the data's multivariate nature

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Parallel Monte Carlo applications require the pseudorandom numbers used on each processor to be independent in a probabilistic sense. The TestU01 software package is the standard testing suite for detecting stream dependence and other properties that make certain pseudorandom generators

Parallel Monte Carlo applications require the pseudorandom numbers used on each processor to be independent in a probabilistic sense. The TestU01 software package is the standard testing suite for detecting stream dependence and other properties that make certain pseudorandom generators ineffective in parallel (as well as serial) settings. TestU01 employs two basic schemes for testing parallel generated streams. The first applies serial tests to the individual streams and then tests the resulting P-values for uniformity. The second turns all the parallel generated streams into one long vector and then applies serial tests to the resulting concatenated stream. Various forms of stream dependence can be missed by each approach because neither one fully addresses the multivariate nature of the accumulated data when generators are run in parallel. This dissertation identifies these potential faults in the parallel testing methodologies of TestU01 and investigates two different methods to better detect inter-stream dependencies: correlation motivated multivariate tests and vector time series based tests. These methods have been implemented in an extension to TestU01 built in C++ and the unique aspects of this extension are discussed. A variety of different generation scenarios are then examined using the TestU01 suite in concert with the extension. This enhanced software package is found to better detect certain forms of inter-stream dependencies than the original TestU01 suites of tests.

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2013

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Alternative methods via random forest to identify interactions in a general framework and variable importance in the context of value-added models

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This work presents two complementary studies that propose heuristic methods to capture characteristics of data using the ensemble learning method of random forest. The first study is motivated by the problem in education of determining teacher effectiveness in student achievement.

This work presents two complementary studies that propose heuristic methods to capture characteristics of data using the ensemble learning method of random forest. The first study is motivated by the problem in education of determining teacher effectiveness in student achievement. Value-added models (VAMs), constructed as linear mixed models, use students’ test scores as outcome variables and teachers’ contributions as random effects to ascribe changes in student performance to the teachers who have taught them. The VAMs teacher score is the empirical best linear unbiased predictor (EBLUP). This approach is limited by the adequacy of the assumed model specification with respect to the unknown underlying model. In that regard, this study proposes alternative ways to rank teacher effects that are not dependent on a given model by introducing two variable importance measures (VIMs), the node-proportion and the covariate-proportion. These VIMs are novel because they take into account the final configuration of the terminal nodes in the constitutive trees in a random forest. In a simulation study, under a variety of conditions, true rankings of teacher effects are compared with estimated rankings obtained using three sources: the newly proposed VIMs, existing VIMs, and EBLUPs from the assumed linear model specification. The newly proposed VIMs outperform all others in various scenarios where the model was misspecified. The second study develops two novel interaction measures. These measures could be used within but are not restricted to the VAM framework. The distribution-based measure is constructed to identify interactions in a general setting where a model specification is not assumed in advance. In turn, the mean-based measure is built to estimate interactions when the model specification is assumed to be linear. Both measures are unique in their construction; they take into account not only the outcome values, but also the internal structure of the trees in a random forest. In a separate simulation study, under a variety of conditions, the proposed measures are found to identify and estimate second-order interactions.

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2013

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Some topics concerning the singular value decomposition and generalized singular value decomposition

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This dissertation involves three problems that are all related by the use of the singular value decomposition (SVD) or generalized singular value decomposition (GSVD). The specific problems are (i) derivation of a generalized singular value expansion (GSVE), (ii) analysis of

This dissertation involves three problems that are all related by the use of the singular value decomposition (SVD) or generalized singular value decomposition (GSVD). The specific problems are (i) derivation of a generalized singular value expansion (GSVE), (ii) analysis of the properties of the chi-squared method for regularization parameter selection in the case of nonnormal data and (iii) formulation of a partial canonical correlation concept for continuous time stochastic processes. The finite dimensional SVD has an infinite dimensional generalization to compact operators. However, the form of the finite dimensional GSVD developed in, e.g., Van Loan does not extend directly to infinite dimensions as a result of a key step in the proof that is specific to the matrix case. Thus, the first problem of interest is to find an infinite dimensional version of the GSVD. One such GSVE for compact operators on separable Hilbert spaces is developed. The second problem concerns regularization parameter estimation. The chi-squared method for nonnormal data is considered. A form of the optimized regularization criterion that pertains to measured data or signals with nonnormal noise is derived. Large sample theory for phi-mixing processes is used to derive a central limit theorem for the chi-squared criterion that holds under certain conditions. Departures from normality are seen to manifest in the need for a possibly different scale factor in normalization rather than what would be used under the assumption of normality. The consequences of our large sample work are illustrated by empirical experiments. For the third problem, a new approach is examined for studying the relationships between a collection of functional random variables. The idea is based on the work of Sunder that provides mappings to connect the elements of algebraic and orthogonal direct sums of subspaces in a Hilbert space. When combined with a key isometry associated with a particular Hilbert space indexed stochastic process, this leads to a useful formulation for situations that involve the study of several second order processes. In particular, using our approach with two processes provides an independent derivation of the functional canonical correlation analysis (CCA) results of Eubank and Hsing. For more than two processes, a rigorous derivation of the functional partial canonical correlation analysis (PCCA) concept that applies to both finite and infinite dimensional settings is obtained.

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2012

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Multivariate generalization of reduced major axis regression

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A least total area of triangle method was proposed by Teissier (1948) for fitting a straight line to data from a pair of variables without treating either variable as the dependent variable while allowing each of the variables to have

A least total area of triangle method was proposed by Teissier (1948) for fitting a straight line to data from a pair of variables without treating either variable as the dependent variable while allowing each of the variables to have measurement errors. This method is commonly called Reduced Major Axis (RMA) regression and is often used instead of Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression. Results for confidence intervals, hypothesis testing and asymptotic distributions of coefficient estimates in the bivariate case are reviewed. A generalization of RMA to more than two variables for fitting a plane to data is obtained by minimizing the sum of a function of the volumes obtained by drawing, from each data point, lines parallel to each coordinate axis to the fitted plane (Draper and Yang 1997; Goodman and Tofallis 2003). Generalized RMA results for the multivariate case obtained by Draper and Yang (1997) are reviewed and some investigations of multivariate RMA are given. A linear model is proposed that does not specify a dependent variable and allows for errors in the measurement of each variable. Coefficients in the model are estimated by minimization of the function of the volumes previously mentioned. Methods for obtaining coefficient estimates are discussed and simulations are used to investigate the distribution of coefficient estimates. The effects of sample size, sampling error and correlation among variables on the estimates are studied. Bootstrap methods are used to obtain confidence intervals for model coefficients. Residual analysis is considered for assessing model assumptions. Outlier and influential case diagnostics are developed and a forward selection method is proposed for subset selection of model variables. A real data example is provided that uses the methods developed. Topics for further research are discussed.

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2012

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Chi-square orthogonal components for assessing goodness-of-fit of multidimensional multinomial data

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It is common in the analysis of data to provide a goodness-of-fit test to assess the performance of a model. In the analysis of contingency tables, goodness-of-fit statistics are frequently employed when modeling social science, educational or psychological data where

It is common in the analysis of data to provide a goodness-of-fit test to assess the performance of a model. In the analysis of contingency tables, goodness-of-fit statistics are frequently employed when modeling social science, educational or psychological data where the interest is often directed at investigating the association among multi-categorical variables. Pearson's chi-squared statistic is well-known in goodness-of-fit testing, but it is sometimes considered to produce an omnibus test as it gives little guidance to the source of poor fit once the null hypothesis is rejected. However, its components can provide powerful directional tests. In this dissertation, orthogonal components are used to develop goodness-of-fit tests for models fit to the counts obtained from the cross-classification of multi-category dependent variables. Ordinal categories are assumed. Orthogonal components defined on marginals are obtained when analyzing multi-dimensional contingency tables through the use of the QR decomposition. A subset of these orthogonal components can be used to construct limited-information tests that allow one to identify the source of lack-of-fit and provide an increase in power compared to Pearson's test. These tests can address the adverse effects presented when data are sparse. The tests rely on the set of first- and second-order marginals jointly, the set of second-order marginals only, and the random forest method, a popular algorithm for modeling large complex data sets. The performance of these tests is compared to the likelihood ratio test as well as to tests based on orthogonal polynomial components. The derived goodness-of-fit tests are evaluated with studies for detecting two- and three-way associations that are not accounted for by a categorical variable factor model with a single latent variable. In addition the tests are used to investigate the case when the model misspecification involves parameter constraints for large and sparse contingency tables. The methodology proposed here is applied to data from the 38th round of the State Survey conducted by the Institute for Public Policy and Michigan State University Social Research (2005) . The results illustrate the use of the proposed techniques in the context of a sparse data set.

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2011

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Spatial Regression and Gaussian Process BART

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Spatial regression is one of the central topics in spatial statistics. Based on the goals, interpretation or prediction, spatial regression models can be classified into two categories, linear mixed regression models and nonlinear regression models. This dissertation explored these models

Spatial regression is one of the central topics in spatial statistics. Based on the goals, interpretation or prediction, spatial regression models can be classified into two categories, linear mixed regression models and nonlinear regression models. This dissertation explored these models and their real world applications. New methods and models were proposed to overcome the challenges in practice. There are three major parts in the dissertation.

In the first part, nonlinear regression models were embedded into a multistage workflow to predict the spatial abundance of reef fish species in the Gulf of Mexico. There were two challenges, zero-inflated data and out of sample prediction. The methods and models in the workflow could effectively handle the zero-inflated sampling data without strong assumptions. Three strategies were proposed to solve the out of sample prediction problem. The results and discussions showed that the nonlinear prediction had the advantages of high accuracy, low bias and well-performed in multi-resolution.

In the second part, a two-stage spatial regression model was proposed for analyzing soil carbon stock (SOC) data. In the first stage, there was a spatial linear mixed model that captured the linear and stationary effects. In the second stage, a generalized additive model was used to explain the nonlinear and nonstationary effects. The results illustrated that the two-stage model had good interpretability in understanding the effect of covariates, meanwhile, it kept high prediction accuracy which is competitive to the popular machine learning models, like, random forest, xgboost and support vector machine.

A new nonlinear regression model, Gaussian process BART (Bayesian additive regression tree), was proposed in the third part. Combining advantages in both BART and Gaussian process, the model could capture the nonlinear effects of both observed and latent covariates. To develop the model, first, the traditional BART was generalized to accommodate correlated errors. Then, the failure of likelihood based Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) in parameter estimating was discussed. Based on the idea of analysis of variation, back comparing and tuning range, were proposed to tackle this failure. Finally, effectiveness of the new model was examined by experiments on both simulation and real data.

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2020