Construction and Analysis of Linear Trend-Free Factorial Designs under a General Cost Structure
When experimental units exhibit a smooth trend over time or in space, random allocation of treatments may no longer be appropriate. Instead, systematic run orders may have to be used to reduce or eliminate the effects of such a trend. The resulting designs are referred to as trend-free designs. We consider here, in particular, linear trend-free designs for factorial treatment structures such that estimates of main effects and two-factor interactions are trend-free. In addition to trend-freeness we incorporate a general cost structure and propose methods of constructing optimal or near-optimal full or fractional factorial designs. Building upon the generalized foldover scheme (GFS) introduced by Coster and Cheng (1988) we develop a procedure of selection of foldover vectors (SFV) which is a construction method for an appropriate generator matrix. The final optimal or near-optimal design can then be developed from this generator matrix. To achieve a reduction in the amount of work, i.e., a reduction of the large number of possible generator matrices, and to make this whole process easier to use by a practitioner, we introduce the systematic selection of foldover vectors (SSFV). This method does not always produce optimal designs but in all cases practical compromise designs. The cost structure for factorial designs can be modeled according to the number of level changes for the various factors. In general, if cost needs to be kept to a minimum, factor level changes will have to be kept at a minimum. This introduces a covariance structure for the observations from such an experiment. We consider the consequences of this covariance structure with respect to the analysis of trend-free factorial designs. We formulate an appropriate underlying mixed linear model and propose an AIC-based method using simulation studies, which leads to a useful practical linear model as compared to the theoretical model, because the theoretical model is not always feasible. Overall, we show that estimation of main effects and two-factor interactions, trend-freeness, and minimum cost cannot always be achieved simultaneously. As a consequence, compromise designs have to be considered, which satisfy requirements as much as possible and are practical at the same time. The proposed methods achieve this aim.
- Doctoral Dissertations