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Clustering and regression analysis of micro panel data
Sobíšek, Lukáš ; Pecáková, Iva (advisor) ; Komárek, Arnošt (referee) ; Brabec, Marek (referee)
The main purpose of panel studies is to analyze changes in values of studied variables over time. In micro panel research, a large number of elements are periodically observed within the relatively short time period of just a few years. Moreover, the number of repeated measurements is small. This dissertation deals with contemporary approaches to the regression and the clustering analysis of micro panel data. One of the approaches to the micro panel analysis is to use multivariate statistical models originally designed for crosssectional data and modify them in order to take into account the within-subject correlation. The thesis summarizes available tools for the regression analysis of micro panel data. The known and currently used linear mixed effects models for a normally distributed dependent variable are recapitulated. Besides that, new approaches for analysis of a response variable with other than normal distribution are presented. These approaches include the generalized marginal linear model, the generalized linear mixed effects model and the Bayesian modelling approach. In addition to describing the aforementioned models, the paper also includes a brief overview of their implementation in the R software. The difficulty with the regression models adjusted for micro panel data is the ambiguity of their parameters estimation. This thesis proposes a way to improve the estimations through the cluster analysis. For this reason, the thesis also contains a description of methods of the cluster analysis of micro panel data. Because supply of the methods is limited, the main goal of this paper is to devise its own two-step approach for clustering micro panel data. In the first step, the panel data are transformed into a static form using a set of proposed characteristics of dynamics. These characteristics represent different features of time course of the observed variables. In the second step, the elements are clustered by conventional spatial clustering techniques (agglomerative clustering and the C-means partitioning). The clustering is based on a dissimilarity matrix of the values of clustering variables calculated in the first step. Another goal of this paper is to find out whether the suggested procedure leads to an improvement in quality of the regression models for this type of data. By means of a simulation study, the procedure drafted herein is compared to the procedure applied in the kml package of the R software, as well as to the clustering characteristics proposed by Urso (2004). The simulation study demonstrated better results of the proposed combination of clustering variables as compared to the other combinations currently used. A corresponding script written in the R-language represents another benefit of this paper. It is available on the attached CD and it can be used for analyses of readers own micro panel data.

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