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Detecting the Direction of a Signal on High-dimensional Spheres: Non-null and Le Cam Optimality Results


  • Davy Paindaveine
  • Thomas Verdebout


We consider one of the most important problems in directional statistics, namely the problem of testing the null hypothesis that the spike direction theta of a Fisher-von Mises-Langevin distribution on the p-dimensional unit hypersphere is equal to a given direction theta_0. After a reduction through invariance arguments, we derive local asymptotic normality (LAN) results in a general high-dimensional framework where the dimension p_n goes to infinity at an arbitrary rate with the sample size n, and where the concentration kappa_n behaves in a completely free way with n, which offers a spectrum of problems ranging from arbitrarily easy to arbitrarily challenging ones. We identify seven asymptotic regimes, depending on the convergence/divergence properties of (kappa_n), that yield different contiguity rates and different limiting experiments. In each regime, we derive Le Cam optimal tests under specified kappa_n and we compute, from the Le Cam third lemma, asymptotic powers of the classical Watson test under contiguous alternatives. We further establish LAN results with respect to both spike direction and concentration, which allows us to discuss optimality also under unspecified kappa_n. To obtain a full understanding of the non-null behavior of the Watson test, we use martingale CLTs to derive its local asymptotic powers in the broader, semiparametric, model of rotationally symmetric distributions. A Monte Carlo study shows that the finite-sample behaviors of the various tests remarkably agree with our asymptotic results.

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  • Davy Paindaveine & Thomas Verdebout, 2017. "Detecting the Direction of a Signal on High-dimensional Spheres: Non-null and Le Cam Optimality Results," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2017-40, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/260378

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Davy Paindaveine & Thomas Verdebout, 2013. "Optimal Rank-Based Tests for the Location Parameter of a Rotationally Symmetric Distribution on the Hypersphere," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2013-36, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Ley, Christophe & Paindaveine, Davy & Verdebout, Thomas, 2015. "High-dimensional tests for spherical location and spiked covariance," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 79-91.
    3. T. D. Downs, 2003. "Spherical regression," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 90(3), pages 655-668, September.
    4. R. Arnold & P. E. Jupp, 2013. "Statistics of orthogonal axial frames," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 100(3), pages 571-586.
    5. Christine Cutting & Davy Paindaveine & Thomas Verdebout, 2015. "Testing Uniformity on High-Dimensional Spheres against Contiguous Rotationally Symmetric Alternatives," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2015-04, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Hornik, Kurt & GrĂ¼n, Bettina, 2014. "movMF: An R Package for Fitting Mixtures of von Mises-Fisher Distributions," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 58(i10).
    7. Chikuse, Yasuko, 1991. "High dimensional limit theorems and matrix decompositions on the Stiefel manifold," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 145-162, February.
    8. P. V. Larsen, 2002. "Improved likelihood ratio tests on the von Mises--Fisher distribution," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 89(4), pages 947-951, December.
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