Statistics and Computing

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 179–192 | Cite as

Feature significance in generalized additive models

  • B. Ganguli
  • M. P. Wand


This paper develops inference for the significance of features such as peaks and valleys observed in additive modeling through an extension of the SiZer-type methodology of Chaudhuri and Marron (1999) and Godtliebsen et al. (2002, 2004) to the case where the outcome is discrete. We consider the problem of determining the significance of features such as peaks or valleys in observed covariate effects both for the case of additive modeling where the main predictor of interest is univariate as well as the problem of studying the significance of features such as peaks, inclines, ridges and valleys when the main predictor of interest is geographical location. We work with low rank radial spline smoothers to allow to the handling of sparse designs and large sample sizes. Reducing the problem to a Generalised Linear Mixed Model (GLMM) framework enables derivation of simulation-based critical value approximations and guards against the problem of multiple inferences over a range of predictor values. Such a reduction also allows for easy adjustment for confounders including those which have an unknown or complex effect on the outcome. A simulation study indicates that our method has satisfactory power. Finally, we illustrate our methodology on several data sets.


Additive models Best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) Bivariate smoothing Generalised linear mixed models Geostatistics Low-rank mixed models Penalised splines Penalised quasi-likelihood (PQL) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Ganguli
    • 1
  • M. P. Wand
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of StatisticsUniversity of CalcuttaCalcuttaIndia
  2. 2.Department of Statistics, School of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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