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Type: Artigo
Title: Parameter recovery for a skew-normal IRT model under a bayesian approach: hierarchical framework, prior and kernel sensitivity and sample size
Author: Azevedo, Caio L. N.
Bolfarine, Heleno
Andrade, Dalton F.
Abstract: Item response theory (IRT) comprises a set of statistical models which are useful in many fields, especially when there is an interest in studying latent variables (or latent traits). Usually such latent traits are assumed to be random variables and a convenient distribution is assigned to them. A very common choice for such a distribution has been the standard normal. Recently, Azevedo et al. [Bayesian inference for a skew-normal IRT model under the centred parameterization, Comput. Stat. Data Anal. 55 (2011), pp. 353–365] proposed a skew-normal distribution under the centred parameterization (SNCP) as had been studied in [R.B. Arellano-Valle and A. Azzalini, The centred parametrization for the multivariate skew-normal distribution, J. Multivariate Anal. 99(7) (2008), pp. 1362–1382], to model the latent trait distribution. This approach allows one to represent any asymmetric behaviour concerning the latent trait distribution. Also, they developed a Metropolis–Hastings within the Gibbs sampling (MHWGS) algorithm based on the density of the SNCP. They showed that the algorithm recovers all parameters properly. Their results indicated that, in the presence of asymmetry, the proposed model and the estimation algorithm perform better than the usual model and estimation methods. Our main goal in this paper is to propose another type of MHWGS algorithm based on a stochastic representation (hierarchical structure) of the SNCP studied in [N. Henze, A probabilistic representation of the skew-normal distribution, Scand. J. Statist. 13 (1986), pp. 271–275]. Our algorithm has only one Metropolis–Hastings step, in opposition to the algorithm developed by Azevedo et al., which has two such steps. This not only makes the implementation easier but also reduces the number of proposal densities to be used, which can be a problem in the implementation of MHWGS algorithms, as can be seen in [R.J. Patz and B.W. Junker, A straightforward approach to Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods for item response models, J. Educ. Behav. Stat. 24(2) (1999), pp. 146–178; R.J. Patz and B.W. Junker, The applications and extensions of MCMC in IRT: Multiple item types, missing data, and rated responses, J. Educ. Behav. Stat. 24(4) (1999), pp. 342–366; A. Gelman, G.O. Roberts, and W.R. Gilks, Efficient Metropolis jumping rules, Bayesian Stat. 5 (1996), pp. 599–607]. Moreover, we consider a modified beta prior (which generalizes the one considered in [3]) and a Jeffreys prior for the asymmetry parameter. Furthermore, we study the sensitivity of such priors as well as the use of different kernel densities for this parameter. Finally, we assess the impact of the number of examinees, number of items and the asymmetry level on the parameter recovery. Results of the simulation study indicated that our approach performed equally as well as that in [3], in terms of parameter recovery, mainly using the Jeffreys prior. Also, they indicated that the asymmetry level has the highest impact on parameter recovery, even though it is relatively small. A real data analysis is considered jointly with the development of model fitting assessment tools. The results are compared with the ones obtained by Azevedo et al. The results indicate that using the hierarchical approach allows us to implement MCMC algorithms more easily, it facilitates diagnosis of the convergence and also it can be very useful to fit more complex skew IRT models
Subject: Distribuição normal assimétrica
Country: Reino Unido
Editor: Taylor & Francis
Rights: Fechado
Identifier DOI: 10.1080/00949655.2011.591798
Date Issue: 2012
Appears in Collections:IMECC - Artigos e Outros Documentos

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