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A flexible regression model for count data. (English) Zbl 1194.62091

Summary: Poisson regression is a popular tool for modeling count data and is applied in a vast array of applications from the social to the physical sciences and beyond. Real data, however, are often over- or under-dispersed and, thus, not conducive to Poisson regression. We propose a regression model based on the Conway-Maxwell-Poisson (COM-Poisson) distribution to address this problem. The COM-Poisson regression generalizes the well-known Poisson and logistic regression models, and is suitable for fitting count data with a wide range of dispersion levels. With a GLM approach that takes advantage of exponential family properties, we discuss model estimation, inference, diagnostics, and interpretation, and present a test for determining the need for a COM-Poisson regression over a standard Poisson regression. We compare the COM-Poisson to several alternatives and illustrate its advantages and usefulness using three data sets with varying dispersion.

MSC:

62J12 Generalized linear models (logistic models)
62H12 Estimation in multivariate analysis
62J20 Diagnostics, and linear inference and regression
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