Finite mixtures of canonical fundamental skew \(t\)-distributions. The unification of the restricted and unrestricted skew \(t\)-mixture models. (English) Zbl 1420.60020

Summary: This paper introduces a finite mixture of canonical fundamental skew \(t\) (CFUST) distributions for a model-based approach to clustering where the clusters are asymmetric and possibly long-tailed [S. X. Lee and G. J. McLachlan [Maximum likelihood estimation for finite mixtures of canonical fundamental skew \(t\)-distributions: the unification of the unrestricted and restricted skew \(t\)-mixture models, Preprint, arxiv:1401.8182]. The family of CFUST distributions includes the restricted multivariate skew \(t\) and unrestricted multivariate skew \(t\) distributions as special cases. In recent years, a few versions of the multivariate skew \(t\) (MST) mixture model have been put forward, together with various EM-type algorithms for parameter estimation. These formulations adopted either a restricted or unrestricted characterization for their MST densities. In this paper, we examine a natural generalization of these developments, employing the CFUST distribution as the parametric family for the component distributions, and point out that the restricted and unrestricted characterizations can be unified under this general formulation. We show that an exact implementation of the EM algorithm can be achieved for the CFUST distribution and mixtures of this distribution, and present some new analytical results for a conditional expectation involved in the E-step.


60E05 Probability distributions: general theory
62F10 Point estimation


mixsmsn; PGMM; sn
Full Text: DOI arXiv


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