Statistics and Computing

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 501–518 | Cite as

MIMCA: multiple imputation for categorical variables with multiple correspondence analysis

  • Vincent AudigierEmail author
  • François Husson
  • Julie Josse


We propose a multiple imputation method to deal with incomplete categorical data. This method imputes the missing entries using the principal component method dedicated to categorical data: multiple correspondence analysis (MCA). The uncertainty concerning the parameters of the imputation model is reflected using a non-parametric bootstrap. Multiple imputation using MCA (MIMCA) requires estimating a small number of parameters due to the dimensionality reduction property of MCA. It allows the user to impute a large range of data sets. In particular, a high number of categories per variable, a high number of variables or a small number of individuals are not an issue for MIMCA. Through a simulation study based on real data sets, the method is assessed and compared to the reference methods (multiple imputation using the loglinear model, multiple imputation by logistic regressions) as well to the latest works on the topic (multiple imputation by random forests or by the Dirichlet process mixture of products of multinomial distributions model). The proposed method provides a good point estimate of the parameters of the analysis model considered, such as the coefficients of a main effects logistic regression model, and a reliable estimate of the variability of the estimators. In addition, MIMCA has the great advantage that it is substantially less time consuming on data sets of high dimensions than the other multiple imputation methods.


Missing values Categorical data Multiple imputation Multiple correspondence analysis Bootstrap 

Mathematics Subject Classification

62H25 6207 62F40 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent Audigier
    • 1
    Email author
  • François Husson
    • 1
  • Julie Josse
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Mathematics DepartmentAgrocampus OuestRennes CedexFrance

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