A unified framework of constrained regression
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- Hofner, B., Kneib, T. & Hothorn, T. Stat Comput (2016) 26: 1. doi:10.1007/s11222-014-9520-y
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Generalized additive models (GAMs) play an important role in modeling and understanding complex relationships in modern applied statistics. They allow for flexible, data-driven estimation of covariate effects. Yet researchers often have a priori knowledge of certain effects, which might be monotonic or periodic (cyclic) or should fulfill boundary conditions. We propose a unified framework to incorporate these constraints for both univariate and bivariate effect estimates and for varying coefficients. As the framework is based on component-wise boosting methods, variables can be selected intrinsically, and effects can be estimated for a wide range of different distributional assumptions. Bootstrap confidence intervals for the effect estimates are derived to assess the models. We present three case studies from environmental sciences to illustrate the proposed seamless modeling framework. All discussed constrained effect estimates are implemented in the comprehensive R package mboost for model-based boosting.