Nonparametric tests for transition probabilities in nonhomogeneous Markov processes

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1 Scopus citations


This paper proposes nonparametric two-sample tests for the direct comparison of the probabilities of a particular transition between states of a continuous time nonhomogeneous Markov process with a finite state space. The proposed tests are a linear nonparametric test, an L2 -norm-based test and a Kolmogorov–Smirnov-type test. Significance level assessment is based on rigorous procedures, which are justified through the use of modern empirical process theory. Moreover, the L2 -norm and the Kolmogorov–Smirnov-type tests are shown to be consistent for every fixed alternative hypothesis. The proposed tests are also extended to more complex situations such as cases with incompletely observed absorbing states and non-Markov processes. Simulation studies show that the test statistics perform well even with small sample sizes. Finally, the proposed tests are applied to data on the treatment of early breast cancer from the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) trial 10854, under an illness-death model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-156
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Nonparametric Statistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Competing risks
  • illness-death model
  • missing absorbing states
  • multi-state model
  • state occupation probability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty

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