Redescending M-estimators

in finite sample studies redescending M-estimators outperform bounded M-estimators (see for example, Andrews et al. [1972. Robust Estimates of Location. Princeton University Press, Princeton]). Even though redescenders arise naturally out of the maximum likelihood approach if one uses very heavy-tailed models, the commonly used redescenders have been derived from purely heuristic considerations. Using a recent approach proposed by Shurygin, we study the optimality of redescending M-estimators. We show that redescending M-estimator can be designed by applying a global minimax criterion to locally robust estimators, namely maximizing over a class of densities the minimum variance sensitivity over a class of estimators. As a particular result, we prove that Smith's estimator, which is a compromise between Huber's skipped mean and Tukey's biweight, provides a guaranteed level of an estimator's variance sensitivity over the class of densities with a bounded variance. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Published in:
Journal Of Statistical Planning And Inference, 138, 2906-2917
Year:
2008
Publisher:
Elsevier
ISSN:
0378-3758
Keywords:
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 Record created 2010-11-30, last modified 2018-03-17

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