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Title: Widening the applicability of permutation inference
Author: Winkler, Anderson M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 7979
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis is divided into three main parts. In the first, we discuss that, although permutation tests can provide exact control of false positives under the reasonable assumption of exchangeability, there are common examples in which global exchangeability does not hold, such as in experiments with repeated measurements or tests in which subjects are related to each other. To allow permutation inference in such cases, we propose an extension of the well known concept of exchangeability blocks, allowing these to be nested in a hierarchical, multi-level definition. This definition allows permutations that retain the original joint distribution unaltered, thus preserving exchangeability. The null hypothesis is tested using only a subset of all otherwise possible permutations. We do not need to explicitly model the degree of dependence between observations; rather the use of such permutation scheme leaves any dependence intact. The strategy is compatible with heteroscedasticity and can be used with permutations, sign flippings, or both combined. In the second part, we exploit properties of test statistics to obtain accelerations irrespective of generic software or hardware improvements. We compare six different approaches using synthetic and real data, assessing the methods in terms of their error rates, power, agreement with a reference result, and the risk of taking a different decision regarding the rejection of the null hypotheses (known as the resampling risk). In the third part, we investigate and compare the different methods for assessment of cortical volume and area from magnetic resonance images using surface-based methods. Using data from young adults born with very low birth weight and coetaneous controls, we show that instead of volume, the permutation-based non-parametric combination (NPC) of thickness and area is a more sensitive option for studying joint effects on these two quantities, giving equal weight to variation in both, and allowing a better characterisation of biological processes that can affect brain morphology.
Supervisor: Smith, Stephen M. ; Nichols, Thomas E. Sponsor: National Research Council of Brazil (CNPq)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Brain imaging ; Brain morphology ; Statistics ; negative binomial distribution ; brain cortical volume ; multi-level block permutation ; brain cortical surface area ; surface-based morphometry ; tail approximation ; permutation tests ; general linear model ; multiple regression ; low rank matrix completion ; brain cortical thickness ; weak exchangeability ; sib-pair design ; gamma distribution ; Pearson type III distribution ; generalised Pareto distribution ; brain morphology ; non-parametric combination ; repeated measurements ; heritability