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Efficient test-based variable selection for high-dimensional linear models


  • Gong, Siliang
  • Zhang, Kai
  • Liu, Yufeng


Variable selection plays a fundamental role in high-dimensional data analysis. Various methods have been developed for variable selection in recent years. Well-known examples are forward stepwise regression (FSR) and least angle regression (LARS), among others. These methods typically add variables into the model one by one. For such selection procedures, it is crucial to find a stopping criterion that controls model complexity. One of the most commonly used techniques to this end is cross-validation (CV) which, in spite of its popularity, has two major drawbacks: expensive computational cost and lack of statistical interpretation. To overcome these drawbacks, we introduce a flexible and efficient test-based variable selection approach that can be incorporated into any sequential selection procedure. The test, which is on the overall signal in the remaining inactive variables, is based on the maximal absolute partial correlation between the inactive variables and the response given active variables. We develop the asymptotic null distribution of the proposed test statistic as the dimension tends to infinity uniformly in the sample size. We also show that the test is consistent. With this test, at each step of the selection, a new variable is included if and only if the p-value is below some pre-defined level. Numerical studies show that the proposed method delivers very competitive performance in terms of variable selection accuracy and computational complexity compared to CV.

Suggested Citation

  • Gong, Siliang & Zhang, Kai & Liu, Yufeng, 2018. "Efficient test-based variable selection for high-dimensional linear models," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 17-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmvana:v:166:y:2018:i:c:p:17-31
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmva.2018.01.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jelle J. Goeman & Sara A. Van De Geer & Hans C. Van Houwelingen, 2006. "Testing against a high dimensional alternative," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 68(3), pages 477-493, June.
    2. Zhong, Ping-Shou & Chen, Song Xi, 2011. "Tests for High-Dimensional Regression Coefficients With Factorial Designs," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 106(493), pages 260-274.
    3. Ehud Aharoni & Saharon Rosset, 2014. "Generalized α-investing: definitions, optimality results and application to public databases," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 76(4), pages 771-794, September.
    4. Max Grazier G'Sell & Stefan Wager & Alexandra Chouldechova & Robert Tibshirani, 2016. "Sequential selection procedures and false discovery rate control," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 78(2), pages 423-444, March.
    5. Runze Li & Wei Zhong & Liping Zhu, 2012. "Feature Screening via Distance Correlation Learning," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 107(499), pages 1129-1139, September.
    6. James, Barry & James, Kang & Qi, Yongcheng, 2007. "Limit distribution of the sum and maximum from multivariate Gaussian sequences," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 517-532, March.
    7. Fan J. & Li R., 2001. "Variable Selection via Nonconcave Penalized Likelihood and its Oracle Properties," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 1348-1360, December.
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