International Statistical Review

A Bayesian Multiple Comparison Procedure for Order‐Restricted Mixed Models

Journal Article

Summary

A Bayesian hierarchical mixed model is developed for multiple comparisons under a simple order restriction. The model facilitates inferences on the successive differences of the population means, for which we choose independent prior distributions that are mixtures of an exponential distribution and a discrete distribution with its entire mass at zero. We employ Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) techniques to obtain parameter estimates and estimates of the posterior probabilities that any two of the means are equal. The latter estimates allow one both to determine if any two means are significantly different and to test the homogeneity of all of the means. We investigate the performance of the model‐based inferences with simulated data sets, focusing on parameter estimation and successive‐mean comparisons using posterior probabilities. We then illustrate the utility of the model in an application based on data from a study designed to reduce lead blood concentrations in children with elevated levels. Our results show that the proposed hierarchical model can effectively unify parameter estimation, tests of hypotheses and multiple comparisons in one setting.

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