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Title: Finite mixture modeling of censored data using the multivariate skew-normal distribution Authors:  Victor Hugo Lachos Davila - University of Connecticut (United States) [presenting]
Abstract: Finite mixture models have been widely used for the modeling and analysis of data from a heterogeneous population. Moreover, data of this kind can be subject to some upper and or lower detection limits because of the restriction of experimental apparatus. Another complication arises when measures of each population depart significantly from normality, for instance, asymmetric data. For such data structures, we propose a robust model for censored data based on finite mixtures of multivariate skew-normal distributions. This approach allows us to model data with great flexibility, accommodating multimodality and skewness depending on the structure of the mixture components. We develop an analytically simple, yet efficient, EM-type algorithm for conducting maximum likelihood estimation of the parameters. The algorithm has closed-form expressions at the E-step that rely on formulas for the mean and variance of the multivariate truncated skew-normal distributions. Further, a general information-based method for approximating the asymptotic covariance matrix of the estimators is also presented. Results obtained from the analysis of both simulated and real datasets are reported to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology.