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Title: Optimal model averaging estimation for correlation structure in generalized estimating equations Authors:  Jingli Wang - National university of Singapore (Singapore) [presenting]
Abstract: Longitudinal data analysis requires a proper estimation of the within-cluster correlation structure in order to achieve efficient estimates of the regression parameters. When applying likelihood-based methods one may select an optimal correlation structure by the AIC or BIC. However, such information criteria are not applicable for estimating equation based approaches. We develop a model averaging approach to estimate the correlation matrix by a weighted sum of a group of patterned correlation matrices under the GEE framework. The optimal weight is determined by minimizing the difference between the weighted sum and a consistent yet inefficient estimator of the correlation structure. The computation of our proposed approach only involves a standard quadratic programming on top of the standard GEE procedure and can be easily implemented in practice. We provide theoretical justifications and extensive numerical simulations to support the application of the proposed estimator. A couple of well-known longitudinal data sets are revisited where we implement and illustrate our methodology.