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Finite Mixtures of Canonical Fundamental Skew t-Distributions

  • Lee, Sharon X.
  • McLachlan, Geoffrey J.
Publication Date
May 04, 2014
Submission Date
May 04, 2014
arXiv ID: 1405.0685
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This is an extended version of the paper Lee and McLachlan (2014b) with simulations and applications added. This paper introduces a finite mixture of canonical fundamental skew t (CFUST) distributions for a model-based approach to clustering where the clusters are asymmetric and possibly long-tailed (Lee and McLachlan, 2014b). The family of CFUST distributions includes the restricted multivariate skew t (rMST) and unrestricted multivariate skew t (uMST) distributions as special cases. In recent years, a few versions of the multivariate skew t (MST) model have been put forward, together with various EM-type algorithms for parameter estimation. These formulations adopted either a restricted or unrestricted characterization for their MST densities. In this paper, we examine a natural generalization of these developments, employing the CFUST distribution as the parametric family for the component distributions, and point out that the restricted and unrestricted characterizations can be unified under this general formulation. We show that an exact implementation of the EM algorithm can be achieved for the CFUST distribution and mixtures of this distribution, and present some new analytical results for a conditional expectation involved in the E-step.

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