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Maximum likelihood estimation of mixtures of factor analyzers


  • Montanari, Angela
  • Viroli, Cinzia


Mixtures of factor analyzers have been receiving wide interest in statistics as a tool for performing clustering and dimension reduction simultaneously. In this model it is assumed that, within each component, the data are generated according to a factor model. Therefore, the number of parameters on which the covariance matrices depend is reduced. Several estimation methods have been proposed for this model, both in the classical and in the Bayesian framework. However, so far, a direct maximum likelihood procedure has not been developed. This direct estimation problem, which simultaneously allows one to derive the information matrix for the mixtures of factor analyzers, is solved. The effectiveness of the proposed procedure is shown on a simulation study and on a toy example.

Suggested Citation

  • Montanari, Angela & Viroli, Cinzia, 2011. "Maximum likelihood estimation of mixtures of factor analyzers," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 55(9), pages 2712-2723, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:csdana:v:55:y:2011:i:9:p:2712-2723

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boldea, Otilia & Magnus, Jan R., 2009. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of the Multivariate Normal Mixture Model," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 104(488), pages 1539-1549.
    2. Zhou, Xingcai & Liu, Xinsheng, 2008. "The EM algorithm for the extended finite mixture of the factor analyzers model," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 3939-3953, April.
    3. McLachlan, G. J. & Peel, D. & Bean, R. W., 2003. "Modelling high-dimensional data by mixtures of factor analyzers," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 379-388, January.
    4. Raftery, Adrian E. & Dean, Nema, 2006. "Variable Selection for Model-Based Clustering," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 101, pages 168-178, March.
    5. Fraley C. & Raftery A.E., 2002. "Model-Based Clustering, Discriminant Analysis, and Density Estimation," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 611-631, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul D. McNicholas, 2016. "Model-Based Clustering," Journal of Classification, Springer;The Classification Society, vol. 33(3), pages 331-373, October.
    2. Wang, Wan-Lun, 2013. "Mixtures of common factor analyzers for high-dimensional data with missing information," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 120-133.
    3. Wang, Wan-Lun, 2015. "Mixtures of common t-factor analyzers for modeling high-dimensional data with missing values," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 223-235.
    4. Cristina Tortora & Paul D. McNicholas & Ryan P. Browne, 2016. "A mixture of generalized hyperbolic factor analyzers," 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. 10(4), pages 423-440, December.


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