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Iteration Capping For Discrete Choice Models Using the EM Algorithm

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  • Kabatek, J.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

The Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm is a well-established estimation procedure which is used in many domains of econometric analysis. Recent application in a discrete choice framework (Train, 2008) facilitated estimation of latent class models allowing for very exible treatment of unobserved heterogeneity. The high exibility of these models is however counterweighted by often excessively long computation times, due to the iterative nature of the EM algorithm. This paper proposes a simple adjustment to the estimation procedure which proves to achieve substantial gains in terms of convergence speed without compromising any of the advantages of the original routine. The enhanced algorithm caps the number of iterations computed by the inner EM loop near its minimum, thereby avoiding optimization over suboptimally populated classes. Performance of the algorithm is assessed on a series of simulations, with the adjusted algorithm being 3-5 times faster than the original routine.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2013-019.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:2013019

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: EM algorithm; discrete choice models; latent class models;

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  1. Daniele Pacifico, 2010. "Estimating nonparametric mixed logit models via EM algorithm," Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) 0072, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia Politica.
  2. Jörgen Hansen & Xingfei Liu, 2011. "Estimating Labor Supply Responses and Welfare Participation: Using a Natural Experiment to Validate a Structural Labor Supply Model," CIRANO Working Papers 2011s-53, CIRANO.
  3. Kenneth Train, 2003. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number emetr2, March Cit.
  4. Apps, Patricia & Kabátek, Jan & Rees, Ray & van Soest, Arthur, 2012. "Labor Supply Heterogeneity and Demand for Child Care of Mothers with Young Children," IZA Discussion Papers 7007, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Daniele Pacifico, 2013. "On the role of unobserved preference heterogeneity in discrete choice models of labour supply," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 929-963, October.
  6. E.K. Berndt & B.H. Hall & R.E. Hall, 1974. "Estimation and Inference in Nonlinear Structural Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 4, pages 103-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hansen, Jörgen & Liu, Xingfei, 2011. "Estimating Labor Supply Responses and Welfare Participation: Using a Natural Experiment to Validate a Structural Labor Supply Model," IZA Discussion Papers 5718, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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