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Model Selection and Estimation in Regression with Grouped Variables

We consider the problem of selecting grouped variables (factors) for accurate prediction in regression. Such a problem arises naturally in many practical situations with the multi-factor ANOVA problem as the most important and well known example. Instead of selecting factors by stepwise backward elimination, we focus on estimation accuracy and consider extensions of the LASSO, the LARS, and the nonnegative garrote for factor selection. The LASSO, the LARS, and the nonnegative garrote are recently proposed regression methods that can be used to select individual variables. We study and propose efficient algorithms for the extensions of these methods for factor selection, and show that these extensions give superior performance to the traditional stepwise backward elimination method in factor selection problems. We study the similarities and the differences among, and the pros and cons of these methods. Simulations and real examples are used to illustrate the methods. This is joint work with Prof. Yi Lin.