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14-06-2021 | Issue 3/2021

Lifetime Data Analysis 3/2021

Factor copula models for right-censored clustered survival data

Journal:
Lifetime Data Analysis > Issue 3/2021
Authors:
Eleanderson Campos, Roel Braekers, Devanil J. de Souza, Lucas M. Chaves
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Abstract

In this article we extend the factor copula model to deal with right-censored event time data grouped in clusters. The new methodology allows for clusters to have variable sizes ranging from small to large and intracluster dependence to be flexibly modeled by any parametric family of bivariate copulas, thus encompassing a wide range of dependence structures. Incorporation of covariates (possibly time dependent) in the margins is also supported. Three estimation procedures are proposed: both one- and two-stage parametric and a two-stage semiparametric method where marginal survival functions are estimated by using a Cox proportional hazards model. We prove that the estimators are consistent and asymptotically normally distributed, and assess their finite sample behavior with simulation studies. Furthermore, we illustrate the proposed methods on a data set containing the time to first insemination after calving in dairy cattle clustered in herds of different sizes.

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