Jialiang Mao

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Ph.D. Student in Statistical Science
Duke University

Master's Thesis

Pyramid Multi-resolution Scanning for Two-sample Comparison

Testing for two-sample differences is challenging when the differences are local and only involve a small portion of the data. To solve this problem, we apply a multi- resolution scanning framework that performs dependent local tests on subsets of the sample space. We use a nested dyadic partition of the sample space to get a collection of windows and test for sample differences within each window. We put a joint prior on the states of local hypotheses that allows both vertical and horizontal message passing among the partition tree to reflect the spatial dependency features among windows. This information passing framework is critical to detect local sample differences. We use both the loopy belief propagation algorithm and MCMC to get the posterior null probability on each window. These probabilities are then used to report sample differences based on decision procedures. Simulation studies are conducted to illustrate the performance. Multiple testing adjustment and convergence of the algorithms are also discussed.