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Multinomial mixture model with heterogeneous classification probabilities

January 1, 2011

Royle and Link (Ecology 86(9):2505–2512, 2005) proposed an analytical method that allowed estimation of multinomial distribution parameters and classification probabilities from categorical data measured with error. While useful, we demonstrate algebraically and by simulations that this method yields biased multinomial parameter estimates when the probabilities of correct category classifications vary among sampling units. We address this shortcoming by treating these probabilities as logit-normal random variables within a Bayesian framework. We use Markov chain Monte Carlo to compute Bayes estimates from a simulated sample from the posterior distribution. Based on simulations, this elaborated Royle-Link model yields nearly unbiased estimates of multinomial and correct classification probability estimates when classification probabilities are allowed to vary according to the normal distribution on the logit scale or according to the Beta distribution. The method is illustrated using categorical submersed aquatic vegetation data.

Publication Year 2011
Title Multinomial mixture model with heterogeneous classification probabilities
DOI 10.1007/s10651-009-0131-2
Authors M.D. Holland, Brian R. Gray
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental and Ecological Statistics
Index ID 70034874
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse