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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Disagreement : estimation of relative bias or discrepancy rate Ma, Ping Hang


Not only basic research in sciences, but also medicine, law, and manufacturing need statistical techniques, including graphics, to assess disagreement. For some items or individuals ⍳ = 1,2,---,ո suppose that pairs (X⍳,Y⍳) denote each item's measurements by two distinct methods or by two observers, or X⍳ and Y⍳ may be initial and repeat measurement scores, with discrepancy D⍳ = X⍳ - Y⍳. Disagreement may be characterized by location and scale parameters of discrepancy distributions. The present work primarily addresses estimation of central tendency - relative bias or median discrepancy (or discrepancy rate in some instances). Most previous literature on "agreement" or "reliability" instead concerns X, Y correlation, which can be regarded as the complement of discrepancy variance. (There is ambiguity or confusion about concepts of "reliability" in the literature of various applications.) Discrepancies D₁, D₂, • • •, Dո in practice often violate assumptions of standard statistical models and methods that have been commonly applied in studies of agreement. In particular, both X⍳ and Y⍳ generally incorporate measurement errors. Further, these two measurement error distributions for the ⍳th item need not be the same; and both distributions could depend on the magnitude µ⍳, of the item being measured. Hence, for example, discrepancy D⍳ could have variance proportional to the size of the item; and in general D₁, D₂, • • •, Dո are not identically distributed. Finally, the selection of items ⍳ = 1,2, • • •, ո often is not random. To estimate median discrepancy, we consider nonparametric confidence intervals corresponding to Student t test, sign test, Wilcoxon signed rank test, or other permutation tests. Several criteria are developed to compare the performance of one procedure relative to another, including expected ratio of confidence interval lengths (related to Pitman asymptotic relative efficiency of tests) and relative variability of interval lengths. Theoretical calculations and Monte Carlo simulation results suggest different procedural preferences for random sampling from different distributions. For discrepancies distributed non-identically, but symmetrically about a common median value, mixture sampling is used as an approximate model. This approach is related to a "random walk" (rather than random sample) model of D₁, D₂, • • •, Dո proposed particularly for discrepancies between counting processes. We also emphasize graphic methods, especially plots of difference of Y - X versus average (X + Y)/2, for exploratory analysis of discrepancy data and to choose appropriate statistical models and numerical methods. Various data sets are analyzed as examples of the methodology.

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