Multiple Hypothesis Tests Controlling Generalized Error Rates for Sequential Data

Research paper by Jay Bartroff

Indexed on: 19 Oct '15Published on: 19 Oct '15Published in: Statistics - Methodology


The $\gamma$-FDP and $k$-FWER multiple testing error metrics, which are tail probabilities of the respective error statistics, have become popular recently as less-stringent alternatives to the FDR and FWER. We propose general and flexible stepup and stepdown procedures for testing multiple hypotheses about sequential (or streaming) data that simultaneously control both the type I and II versions of $\gamma$-FDP, or $k$-FWER. The error control holds regardless of the dependence between data streams, which may be of arbitrary size and shape. All that is needed is a test statistic for each data stream that controls the conventional type I and II error probabilities, and no information or assumptions are required about the joint distribution of the statistics or data streams. The procedures can be used with sequential, group sequential, truncated, or other sampling schemes. We give recommendations for the procedures' implementation including closed-form expressions for the needed critical values in some commonly-encountered testing situations. The proposed sequential procedures are compared with each other and with comparable fixed sample size procedures in the context of strongly positively correlated Gaussian data streams. For this setting we conclude that both the stepup and stepdown sequential procedures provide substantial savings over the fixed sample procedures in terms of expected sample size, and the stepup procedure performs slightly but consistently better than the stepdown for $\gamma$-FDP control, with the relationship reversed for $k$-FWER control.