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Methodology (stat.ME)

Fri, 16 Jun 2023

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1.A novel positive dependence property and its impact on a popular class of concordance measures

Authors:Sebastian Fuchs, Marco Tschimpke

Abstract: A novel positive dependence property is introduced, called positive measure inducing (PMI for short), being fulfilled by numerous copula classes, including Gaussian, Fr\'echet, Farlie-Gumbel-Morgenstern and Frank copulas; it is conjectured that even all positive quadrant dependent Archimedean copulas meet this property. From a geometric viewpoint, a PMI copula concentrates more mass near the main diagonal than in the opposite diagonal. A striking feature of PMI copulas is that they impose an ordering on a certain class of copula-induced measures of concordance, the latter originating in Edwards et al. (2004) and including Spearman's rho $\rho$ and Gini's gamma $\gamma$, leading to numerous new inequalities such as $3 \gamma \geq 2 \rho$. The measures of concordance within this class are estimated using (classical) empirical copulas and the intrinsic construction via empirical checkerboard copulas, and the estimators' asymptotic behaviour is determined. Building upon the presented inequalities, asymptotic tests are constructed having the potential of being used for detecting whether the underlying dependence structure of a given sample is PMI, which in turn can be used for excluding certain copula families from model building. The excellent performance of the tests is demonstrated in a simulation study and by means of a real-data example.

2.A study on group fairness in healthcare outcomes for nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Basque Country

Authors:Hristo Inouzhe, Irantzu Barrio, Paula Gordaliza, María Xosé Rodríguez-Álvarez, Itxaso Bengoechea, José María Quintana

Abstract: We explore the effect of nursing home status on healthcare outcomes such as hospitalisation, mortality and in-hospital mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some claim that in specific Autonomous Communities (geopolitical divisions) in Spain, elderly people in nursing homes had restrictions on access to hospitals and treatments, which raised a public outcry about the fairness of such measures. In this work, the case of the Basque Country is studied under a rigorous statistical approach and a physician's perspective. As fairness/unfairness is hard to model mathematically and has strong real-world implications, this work concentrates on the following simplification: establishing if the nursing home status had a direct effect on healthcare outcomes once accounted for other meaningful patients' information such as age, health status and period of the pandemic, among others. The methods followed here are a combination of established techniques as well as new proposals from the fields of causality and fair learning. The current analysis suggests that as a group, people in nursing homes were significantly less likely to be hospitalised, and considerably more likely to die, even in hospitals, compared to their non-residents counterparts during most of the pandemic. Further data collection and analysis are needed to guarantee that this is solely/mainly due to nursing home status.

3.Omitting continuous covariates in binary regression models: implications for sensitivity and mediation analysis

Authors:Matteo Gasparin, Bruno Scarpa, Elena Stanghellini

Abstract: By exploiting the theory of skew-symmetric distributions, we generalise existing results in sensitivity analysis by providing the analytic expression of the bias induced by marginalization over an unobserved continuous confounder in a logistic regression model. The expression is approximated and mimics Cochran's formula under some simplifying assumptions. Other link functions and error distributions are also considered. A simulation study is performed to assess its properties. The derivations can also be applied in causal mediation analysis, thereby enlarging the number of circumstances where simple parametric formulations can be used to evaluate causal direct and indirect effects. Standard errors of the causal effect estimators are provided via the first-order Delta method. Simulations show that our proposed estimators perform equally well as others based on numerical methods and that the additional interpretability of the explicit formulas does not compromise their precision. The new estimator has been applied to measure the effect of humidity on upper airways diseases mediated by the presence of common aeroallergens in the air.

4.Catch me if you can: Signal localization with knockoff e-values

Authors:Paula Gablenz, Chiara Sabatti

Abstract: We consider problems where many, somewhat redundant hypotheses are tested and we are interested in reporting the most precise rejection, with false discovery rate (FDR) control. For example, a common goal in genetics is to identify DNA variants that carry distinct information on a trait of interest. However, strong local dependencies between nearby variants make it challenging to distinguish which of the many correlated features most directly influence the phenotype. A common solution is then to identify sets of variants that cover the truly important ones. Depending on the signal strengths, it is possible to resolve the individual variant contributions with more or less precision. Assuring FDR control on the reported findings with these adaptive searches is, however, often impossible. To design a multiple comparison procedure that allows for an adaptive choice of resolution with FDR control, we leverage e-values and linear programming. We adapt this approach to problems where knockoffs and group knockoffs have been successfully applied to test conditional independence hypotheses. We demonstrate its efficacy by analyzing data from the UK Biobank.