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Title: Prior elicitation and variable selection for bayesian quantile regression
Author: Al-Hamzawi, Rahim Jabbar Thaher
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2013
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Bayesian subset selection suffers from three important difficulties: assigning priors over model space, assigning priors to all components of the regression coefficients vector given a specific model and Bayesian computational efficiency (Chen et al., 1999). These difficulties become more challenging in Bayesian quantile regression framework when one is interested in assigning priors that depend on different quantile levels. The objective of Bayesian quantile regression (BQR), which is a newly proposed tool, is to deal with unknown parameters and model uncertainty in quantile regression (QR). However, Bayesian subset selection in quantile regression models is usually a difficult issue due to the computational challenges and nonavailability of conjugate prior distributions that are dependent on the quantile level. These challenges are rarely addressed via either penalised likelihood function or stochastic search variable selection (SSVS). These methods typically use symmetric prior distributions for regression coefficients, such as the Gaussian and Laplace, which may be suitable for median regression. However, an extreme quantile regression should have different regression coefficients from the median regression, and thus the priors for quantile regression coefficients should depend on quantiles. This thesis focuses on three challenges: assigning standard quantile dependent prior distributions for the regression coefficients, assigning suitable quantile dependent priors over model space and achieving computational efficiency. The first of these challenges is studied in Chapter 2 in which a quantile dependent prior elicitation scheme is developed. In particular, an extension of the Zellners prior which allows for a conditional conjugate prior and quantile dependent prior on Bayesian quantile regression is proposed. The prior is generalised in Chapter 3 by introducing a ridge parameter to address important challenges that may arise in some applications, such as multicollinearity and overfitting problems. The proposed prior is also used in Chapter 4 for subset selection of the fixed and random coefficients in a linear mixedeffects QR model. In Chapter 5 we specify normal-exponential prior distributions for the regression coefficients which can provide adaptive shrinkage and represent an alternative model to the Bayesian Lasso quantile regression model. For the second challenge, we assign a quantile dependent prior over model space in Chapter 2. The prior is based on the percentage bend correlation which depends on the quantile level. This prior is novel and is used in Bayesian regression for the first time. For the third challenge of computational efficiency, Gibbs samplers are derived and setup to facilitate the computation of the proposed methods. In addition to the three major aforementioned challenges this thesis also addresses other important issues such as the regularisation in quantile regression and selecting both random and fixed effects in mixed quantile regression models.
Supervisor: Yu, K. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Gibbs sampler ; Conditional distribution ; Model selection