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Fahrmeir, Ludwig and Künstler, R. (1998): Penalized likelihood smoothing in robust state space models. Collaborative Research Center 386, Discussion Paper 111 [PDF, 355kB]


In likelihood-based approaches to robustify state space models, Gaussian error distributions are replaced by non-normal alternatives with heavier tails. Robustified observation models are appropriate for time series with additive outliers, while state or transition equations with heavy-tailed error distributions lead to filters and smoothers that can cope with structural changes in trend or slope caused by innovations outliers. As a consequence, however, conditional filtering and smoothing densities become analytically intractable. Various attempts have been made to deal with this problem, reaching from approximate conditional mean type estimation to fully Bayesian analysis using MCMC simulation. In this article we consider penalized likelihood smoothers, this means estimators which maximize penalized likelihoods or, equivalently, posterior densities. Filtering and smoothing for additive and innovations outlier models can be carried out by computationally efficient Fisher scoring steps or iterative Kalman-type filters. Special emphasis is on the Student family, for which EM-type algorithms to estimate unknown hyperparameters are developed. Operational behaviour is illustrated by simulation experiments and by real data applications.

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