Multiple scaled contaminated normal distribution and its application in clustering
The multivariate contaminated normal (MCN) distribution represents a simple heavy-tailed generalization of the multivariate normal (MN) distribution to model elliptical contoured scatters in the presence of mild outliers (also referred to as ‘bad’ points herein) and automatically detect bad points. The price of these advantages is two additional parameters: proportion of good observations and degree of contamination. However, in a multivariate setting, only one proportion of good observations and only one degree of contamination may be limiting. To overcome this limitation, we propose a multiple scaled contaminated normal (MSCN) distribution. Among its parameters, we have an orthogonal matrix Γ. In the space spanned by the vectors (principal components) of Γ, there is a proportion of good observations and a degree of contamination for each component. Moreover, each observation has a posterior probability of being good with respect to each principal component. Thanks to this probability, the method provides directional robust estimates of the parameters of the nested MN and automatic directional detection of bad points. The term ‘directional’ is added to specify that the method works separately for each principal component. Mixtures of MSCN distributions are also proposed, and an expectation-maximization algorithm is used for parameter estimation. Real and simulated data are considered to show the usefulness of our mixture with respect to well-established mixtures of symmetric distributions with heavy tails.
contaminated normal distribution, EM algorithm, heavy-tailed distributions, mixture models, model-based clustering, multiple scaled distributions
Mathematics and Statistics
Antonio Punzo and Cristina Tortora. "Multiple scaled contaminated normal distribution and its application in clustering" Statistical Modelling (2021): 332-358. https://doi.org/10.1177/1471082X19890935