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Non-normal bivariate distributions: estimation and hypothesis testing

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2007
Qunsiyeh, Sahar Botros
When using data for estimating the parameters in a bivariate distribution, the tradition is to assume that data comes from a bivariate normal distribution. If the distribution is not bivariate normal, which often is the case, the maximum likelihood (ML) estimators are intractable and the least square (LS) estimators are inefficient. Here, we consider two independent sets of bivariate data which come from non-normal populations. We consider two distinctive distributions: the marginal and the conditional distributions are both Generalized Logistic, and the marginal and conditional distributions both belong to the Student’s t family. We use the method of modified maximum likelihood (MML) to find estimators of various parameters in each distribution. We perform a simulation study to show that our estimators are more efficient and robust than the LS estimators even for small sample sizes. We develop hypothesis testing procedures using the LS and the MML estimators. We show that the latter are more powerful and robust. Moreover, we give a comparison of our tests with another well known robust test due to Tiku and Singh (1982) and show that our test is more powerful. The latter is based on censored normal samples and is quite prominent (Lehmann, 1986). We also use our MML estimators to find a more efficient estimator of Mahalanobis distance. We give real life examples.