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Covariance matrix selection and estimation via penalised normal likelihood

Listed author(s):
  • Jianhua Z. Huang
  • Naiping Liu
  • Mohsen Pourahmadi
  • Linxu Liu
Registered author(s):

    We propose a nonparametric method for identifying parsimony and for producing a statistically efficient estimator of a large covariance matrix. We reparameterise a covariance matrix through the modified Cholesky decomposition of its inverse or the one-step-ahead predictive representation of the vector of responses and reduce the nonintuitive task of modelling covariance matrices to the familiar task of model selection and estimation for a sequence of regression models. The Cholesky factor containing these regression coefficients is likely to have many off-diagonal elements that are zero or close to zero. Penalised normal likelihoods in this situation with L-sub-1 and L-sub-2 penalities are shown to be closely related to Tibshirani's (1996) LASSO approach and to ridge regression. Adding either penalty to the likelihood helps to produce more stable estimators by introducing shrinkage to the elements in the Cholesky factor, while, because of its singularity, the L-sub-1 penalty will set some elements to zero and produce interpretable models. An algorithm is developed for computing the estimator and selecting the tuning parameter. The proposed maximum penalised likelihood estimator is illustrated using simulation and a real dataset involving estimation of a 102 × 102 covariance matrix. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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    Article provided by Biometrika Trust in its journal Biometrika.

    Volume (Year): 93 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 85-98

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:biomet:v:93:y:2006:i:1:p:85-98
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