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Estimating the variance in nonparametric regression – what is a reasonable choice? (English) Zbl 0944.62041
Summary: The exact mean-squared error (MSE) of estimators of the variance in nonparametric regression based on quadratic forms is investigated. In particular, two classes of estimators are compared: Hall, Kay and Titterington’s optimal difference-based estimators and a class of ordinary difference-based estimators which generalize methods proposed by Rice and Gasser, Sroka and Jennen-Steinmetz.
For small sample sizes the MSE of the first estimator is essentially increased by the magnitude of the integrated first two squared derivatives of the regression function. It is shown that in many situations ordinary difference-based estimators are more appropriate for estimating the variance, because they control the bias much better and hence have a much better overall performance. It is also demonstrated that Rice’s estimator does not always behave well. Data-driven guidelines are given to select the estimator with the smallest MSE.

62G08 Nonparametric regression and quantile regression
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