Mathematics and Statistics Faculty Publications


Estimating the Proportion of True Null Hypotheses in Multiple Testing Problems

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The problem of estimating the proportion, , of the true null hypotheses in a multiple testing problem is important in cases where large scale parallel hypotheses tests are performed independently. While the problem is a quantity of interest in its own right in applications, the estimate of can be used for assessing or controlling an overall false discovery rate. In this article, we develop an innovative nonparametric maximum likelihood approach to estimate . The nonparametric likelihood is proposed to be restricted to multinomial models and an EM algorithm is also developed to approximate the estimate of . Simulation studies show that the proposed method outperforms other existing methods. Using experimental microarray datasets, we demonstrate that the new method provides satisfactory estimate in practice.

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Journal of Probability and Statistics