Nonparametric estimation of the incubation time distribution

by   Piet Groeneboom, et al.
Delft University of Technology

We discuss nonparametric estimators of the distribution of the incubation time of a disease. The classical approach in these models is to use parametric families like Weibull, log-normal or gamma in the estimation procedure. We analyze instead the nonparametric maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) and show that, under some conditions, its rate of convergence is cube root n and that its limit behavior is given by Chernoff's distribution. We also study smooth estimates, based on the MLE. The density estimates, based on the MLE, are capable of catching finer or unexpected aspects of the density, in contrast with the classical parametric methods. R scripts are provided for the nonparametric methods.


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