Functional generalized additive models

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 2014, 23 (1), pp. 249 - 269
Issue Date:
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We introduce the functional generalized additive model (FGAM), a novel regression model for association studies between a scalar response and a functional predictor. We model the link-transformed mean response as the integral with respect to t of F{X(t), t} where F(·, ·) is an unknown regression function and X(t) is a functional covariate. Rather than having an additive model in a finite number of principal components as by Müller and Yao (2008), our model incorporates the functional predictor directly and thus our model can be viewed as the natural functional extension of generalized additive models. We estimate F(·, ·) using tensor-product B-splines with roughness penalties. A pointwise quantile transformation of the functional predictor is also considered to ensure each tensor-product B-spline has observed data on its support. The methods are evaluated using simulated data and their predictive performance is compared with other competing scalar-on-function regression alternatives. We illustrate the usefulness of our approach through an application to brain tractography, where X(t) is a signal from diffusion tensor imaging at position, t, along a tract in the brain. In one example, the response is disease-status (case or control) and in a second example, it is the score on a cognitive test. The FGAM is implemented in R in the refund package. There are additional supplementary materials available online. © 2013 American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and Interface Foundation of North America.
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