IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Likelihood inference for a class of latent Markov models under linear hypotheses on the transition probabilities


  • Francesco Bartolucci


For a class of latent Markov models for discrete variables having a longitudinal structure, we introduce an approach for formulating and testing linear hypotheses on the transition probabilities of the latent process. For the maximum likelihood estimation of a latent Markov model under hypotheses of this type, we outline an EM algorithm that is based on well-known recursions in the hidden Markov literature. We also show that, under certain assumptions, the asymptotic null distribution of the likelihood ratio statistic for testing a linear hypothesis on the transition probabilities of a latent Markov model, against a less stringent linear hypothesis on the transition probabilities of the same model, is of type. As a particular case, we derive the asymptotic distribution of the likelihood ratio statistic between a latent class model and its latent Markov version, which may be used to test the hypothesis of absence of transition between latent states. The approach is illustrated through a series of simulations and two applications, the first of which is based on educational testing data that have been collected within the National Assessment of Educational Progress 1996, and the second on data, concerning the use of marijuana, which have been collected within the National Youth Survey 1976-1980. Copyright 2006 Royal Statistical Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Bartolucci, 2006. "Likelihood inference for a class of latent Markov models under linear hypotheses on the transition probabilities," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 68(2), pages 155-178.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssb:v:68:y:2006:i:2:p:155-178

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Bartolucci & Fulvia Pennoni & Giorgio Vittadini, 2016. "Causal Latent Markov Model for the Comparison of Multiple Treatments in Observational Longitudinal Studies," Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, , vol. 41(2), pages 146-179, April.
    2. Francesco Bartolucci & Fulvia Pennoni, 2007. "A Class of Latent Markov Models for Capture–Recapture Data Allowing for Time, Heterogeneity, and Behavior Effects," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 568-578, June.
    3. Bartolucci, Francesco & Farcomeni, Alessio, 2009. "A Multivariate Extension of the Dynamic Logit Model for Longitudinal Data Based on a Latent Markov Heterogeneity Structure," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 104(486), pages 816-831.
    4. Bartolucci, Francesco & Nigro, Valentina, 2007. "Maximum likelihood estimation of an extended latent Markov model for clustered binary panel data," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 3470-3483, April.
    5. Kelava, Augustin & Kohler, Michael & Krzyżak, Adam & Schaffland, Tim Fabian, 2017. "Nonparametric estimation of a latent variable model," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 112-134.
    6. Mansnerus, Erika, 2008. "What happens to facts after their construction?: characteristics and functional roles of facts in the dissemination of knowledge across modelling communities," Economic History Working Papers 22504, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    7. Francesco Bartolucci & Fulvia Pennoni & Brian Francis, 2007. "A latent Markov model for detecting patterns of criminal activity," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 170(1), pages 115-132.
    8. S. Bacci & S. Pandolfi & F. Pennoni, 2014. "A comparison of some criteria for states selection in the latent Markov model for longitudinal data," Advances in Data Analysis and Classification, Springer;German Classification Society - Gesellschaft für Klassifikation (GfKl);Japanese Classification Society (JCS);Classification and Data Analysis Group of the Italian Statistical Society (CLADAG);International Federation of Classification Societies (IFCS), vol. 8(2), pages 125-145, June.
    9. Francesco Bartolucci & Alessio Farcomeni, 2010. "A note on the mixture transition distribution and hidden Markov models," Journal of Time Series Analysis, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 132-138, March.
    10. Francesco Bartolucci & Ivonne Solis-Trapala, 2010. "Multidimensional Latent Markov Models in a Developmental Study of Inhibitory Control and Attentional Flexibility in Early Childhood," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 725-743, December.
    11. Jörn Dannemann & Hajo Holzmann, 2008. "Likelihood Ratio Testing for Hidden Markov Models Under Non-standard Conditions," Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics;Finnish Statistical Society;Norwegian Statistical Association;Swedish Statistical Association, vol. 35(2), pages 309-321.
    12. Gordon Anderson & Alessio Farcomeni & Grazia Pittau & Roberto Zelli, 2017. "Rectangular latent Markov models for time-specific clustering," Working Papers tecipa-589, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    13. F. Bartolucci & A. Farcomeni & F. Pennoni, 2014. "Latent Markov models: a review of a general framework for the analysis of longitudinal data with covariates," TEST: An Official Journal of the Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research, Springer;Sociedad de Estadística e Investigación Operativa, vol. 23(3), pages 433-465, September.
    14. Maria Marino & Alessio Farcomeni, 2015. "Linear quantile regression models for longitudinal experiments: an overview," METRON, Springer;Sapienza Università di Roma, vol. 73(2), pages 229-247, August.
    15. Bartolucci, Francesco & Lupparelli, Monia, 2012. "Nested hidden Markov chains for modeling dynamic unobserved heterogeneity in multilevel longitudinal data," MPRA Paper 40588, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Alessio Farcomeni, 2015. "Generalized Linear Mixed Models Based on Latent Markov Heterogeneity Structures," Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics;Finnish Statistical Society;Norwegian Statistical Association;Swedish Statistical Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1127-1135, December.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jorssb:v:68:y:2006:i:2:p:155-178. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.