Permutation-based stochastic ordering using pairwise comparisons

by Federico and#60;1985and#62 Mattiello

Institution: Università di Bologna
Year: 2015
Keywords: SECS-S/01 Statistica
Record ID: 1224944
Full text PDF: http://amsdottorato.unibo.it/6735/1/Mattiello_Federico_tesi.pdf


The topic of this work concerns nonparametric permutation-based methods aiming to find a ranking (stochastic ordering) of a given set of groups (populations), gathering together information from multiple variables under more than one experimental designs. The problem of ranking populations arises in several fields of science from the need of comparing G>2 given groups or treatments when the main goal is to find an order while taking into account several aspects. As it can be imagined, this problem is not only of theoretical interest but it also has a recognised relevance in several fields, such as industrial experiments or behavioural sciences, and this is reflected by the vast literature on the topic, although sometimes the problem is associated with different keywords such as: "stochastic ordering", "ranking", "construction of composite indices" etc., or even "ranking probabilities" outside of the strictly-speaking statistical literature. The properties of the proposed method are empirically evaluated by means of an extensive simulation study, where several aspects of interest are let to vary within a reasonable practical range. These aspects comprise: sample size, number of variables, number of groups, and distribution of noise/error. The flexibility of the approach lies mainly in the several available choices for the test-statistic and in the different types of experimental design that can be analysed. This render the method able to be tailored to the specific problem and the to nature of the data at hand. To perform the analyses an R package called SOUP (Stochastic Ordering Using Permutations) has been written and it is available on CRAN.