From sparse to dense functional data and beyond. (English) Zbl 1349.62161

Summary: Nonparametric estimation of mean and covariance functions is important in functional data analysis. We investigate the performance of local linear smoothers for both mean and covariance functions with a general weighing scheme, which includes two commonly used schemes, equal weight per observation (OBS), and equal weight per subject (SUBJ), as two special cases. We provide a comprehensive analysis of their asymptotic properties on a unified platform for all types of sampling plan, be it dense, sparse or neither. Three types of asymptotic properties are investigated in this paper: asymptotic normality, \(L^{2}\) convergence and uniform convergence. The asymptotic theories are unified on two aspects: (1) the weighing scheme is very general; (2) the magnitude of the number \(N_{i}\) of measurements for the \(i\)th subject relative to the sample size \(n\) can vary freely. Based on the relative order of \(N_{i}\) to \(n\), functional data are partitioned into three types: non-dense, dense and ultra-dense functional data for the OBS and SUBJ schemes. These two weighing schemes are compared both theoretically and numerically. We also propose a new class of weighing schemes in terms of a mixture of the OBS and SUBJ weights, of which theoretical and numerical performances are examined and compared.


62G20 Asymptotic properties of nonparametric inference
62G08 Nonparametric regression and quantile regression
62G05 Nonparametric estimation
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