## Bayesian Analysis

- Bayesian Anal.
- Volume 2, Number 4 (2007), 735-760.

### Bayesian diagnostic techniques for detecting hierarchical structure

#### Abstract

Motivated by an increasing number of Bayesian hierarchical model applications, the objective of this paper is to evaluate properties of several diagnostic techniques when the fitted model includes some hierarchical structure, but the data are from a model with additional, unknown hierarchical structure. Because there has been no apparent evaluation of Bayesian diagnostics used for this purpose, we start by studying the simple situation where the data come from a normal model with two-stage hierarchical structure while the fitted model does not have any hierarchical structure, and then extend this to the case where the fitted model has two-stage normal hierarchical structure while the data come from a model with three-stage normal structure. We use exact derivations, large sample approximations and numerical examples to evaluate the quality of the diagnostic techniques. Our investigation suggests two promising techniques: distribution of individual posterior predictive $p$ values and the conventional posterior predictive $p$ value with the $F$ statistic as a checking function. We show that (at least) for large sample sizes these $p$ values are uniformly distributed under the null model and are effective in detecting hierarchical structure not included in the null model. Finally, we apply these two techniques to examine the fit of a model for data from the Patterns of Care Study, a two-stage cluster sample of cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.

#### Article information

**Source**

Bayesian Anal., Volume 2, Number 4 (2007), 735-760.

**Dates**

First available in Project Euclid: 22 June 2012

**Permanent link to this document**

https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ba/1340370713

**Digital Object Identifier**

doi:10.1214/07-BA230

**Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)**

MR2361973

**Zentralblatt MATH identifier**

1331.62067

**Keywords**

$F$ statistic model assessment partial posterior predictive $p$ value posterior predictive distribution posterior predictive $p$ value

#### Citation

Yan, Guofen; Sedransk, J. Bayesian diagnostic techniques for detecting hierarchical structure. Bayesian Anal. 2 (2007), no. 4, 735--760. doi:10.1214/07-BA230. https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ba/1340370713