Nonparametric maximum likelihood computation of a \(U\)-shaped hazard function. (English) Zbl 1384.62120

Summary: A new algorithm is presented and studied in this paper for fast computation of the nonparametric maximum likelihood estimate of a \(U\)-shaped hazard function. It successfully overcomes a difficulty when computing a \(U\)-shaped hazard function, which is only properly defined by knowing its anti-mode, and the anti-mode itself has to be found during the computation. Specifically, the new algorithm maintains the constant hazard segment, regardless of its length being zero or positive. The length varies naturally, according to what mass values are allocated to their associated knots after each updating. Being an appropriate extension of the constrained Newton method, the new algorithm also inherits its advantage of fast convergence, as demonstrated by some real-world data examples. The algorithm works not only for exact observations, but also for purely interval-censored data, and for data mixed with exact and interval-censored observations.


62G05 Nonparametric estimation
62N02 Estimation in survival analysis and censored data
62N05 Reliability and life testing
62G07 Density estimation


R; ConvexHaz; npsurv
Full Text: DOI


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