Document Type


Date of Degree


Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Joseph Cavanaugh


The selection of a best-subset regression model from a candidate family is a common problem that arises in many analyses. In best-subset model selection, we consider all possible subsets of regressor variables; thus, numerous candidate models may need to be fit and compared. One of the main challenges of best-subset selection arises from the size of the candidate model family: specifically, the probability of selecting an inappropriate model generally increases as the size of the family increases. For this reason, it is usually difficult to select an optimal model when best-subset selection is attempted based on a moderate to large number of regressor variables.

Model selection criteria are often constructed to estimate discrepancy measures used to assess the disparity between each fitted candidate model and the generating model. The Akaike information criterion (AIC) and the corrected AIC (AICc) are designed to estimate the expected Kullback-Leibler (K-L) discrepancy. For best-subset selection, both AIC and AICc are negatively biased, and the use of either criterion will lead to overfitted models. To correct for this bias, we introduce a criterion AICi, which has a penalty term evaluated from Monte Carlo simulation. A multistage model selection procedure AICaps, which utilizes AICi, is proposed for best-subset selection.

In the framework of linear regression models, the Gauss discrepancy is another frequently applied measure of proximity between a fitted candidate model and the generating model. Mallows' conceptual predictive statistic (Cp) and the modified Cp (MCp) are designed to estimate the expected Gauss discrepancy. For best-subset selection, Cp and MCp exhibit negative estimation bias. To correct for this bias, we propose a criterion CPSi that again employs a penalty term evaluated from Monte Carlo simulation. We further devise a multistage procedure, CPSaps, which selectively utilizes CPSi.

In this thesis, we consider best-subset selection in two different modeling frameworks: linear models and generalized linear models. Extensive simulation studies are compiled to compare the selection behavior of our methods and other traditional model selection criteria. We also apply our methods to a model selection problem in a study of bipolar disorder.


Best-subset model selection, Gauss discrepancy, Generalized linear models, Kullback-Leibler discrepancy, Linear models, Multistage procedure


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Copyright 2013 Tao Zhang

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Biostatistics Commons