Latent Class Models for Diary Method Data: Parameter Estimation by Local ComputationsReport as inadecuate

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, 73:167

First Online: 04 October 2007Received: 26 October 2005Revised: 31 October 2006Accepted: 31 October 2006


The increasing use of diary methods calls for the development of appropriate statistical methods. For the resulting panel data, latent Markov models can be used to model both individual differences and temporal dynamics. The computational burden associated with these models can be overcome by exploiting the conditional independence relations implied by the model. This is done by associating a probabilistic model with a directed acyclic graph, and applying transformations to the graph. The structure of the transformed graph provides a factorization of the joint probability function of the manifest and latent variables, which is the basis of a modified and more efficient E-step of the EM algorithm. The usefulness of the approach is illustrated by estimating a latent Markov model involving a large number of measurement occasions and, subsequently, a hierarchical extension of the latent Markov model that allows for transitions at different levels. Furthermore, logistic regression techniques are used to incorporate restrictions on the conditional probabilities and to account for the effect of covariates. Throughout, models are illustrated with an experience sampling methodology study on the course of emotions among anorectic patients.

Keywordsgraphical models latent Markov model hierarchical latent Markov model junction tree algorithm Frank Rijmen was partly supported by the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders FWO.

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Author: Frank Rijmen - Kristof Vansteelandt - Paul De Boeck



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