An Alternative Estimate of Preferred Direction for Circular Data
Otieno, Bennett Sango
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Circular or Angular data occur in many fields of applied statistics. A common problem of interest in circular data is estimating a preferred direction and its corresponding distribution. This problem is complicated by the so-called wrap-around effect, which exists because there is no minimum or maximum on the circle. The usual statistics employed for linear data are inappropriate for directional data, as they do not account for the circular nature of directional data. Common choices for summarizing the preferred direction are the sample circular mean, and sample circular median. A newly proposed circular analog of the Hodges-Lehmann estimator is proposed, as an alternative estimate of preferred direction. The new measure of preferred direction is a robust compromise between circular mean and circular median. Theoretical results show that the new measure of preferred direction is asymptotically more efficient than the circular median and that its asymptotic efficiency relative to the circular mean is quite comparable. Descriptions of how to use the methods for constructing confidence intervals and testing hypotheses are provided. Simulation results demonstrate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the new approach for a variety of distributions.
- Doctoral Dissertations