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September 2014 On analysis of incomplete field failure data
Zhisheng Ye, Hon Keung Tony Ng
Ann. Appl. Stat. 8(3): 1713-1727 (September 2014). DOI: 10.1214/14-AOAS752


Many commercial products are sold with warranties and indirectly through dealers. The manufacturer-retailer distribution mechanism results in serious missing data problems in field return data, as the sales date for an unreturned unit is generally unknown to the manufacturer. This study considers a general setting for field failure data with unknown sales dates and a warranty limit. A stochastic expectation–maximization (SEM) algorithm is developed to estimate the distributions of the sales lag (time between shipment to a retailer and sale to a customer) and the lifetime of the product under study. Extensive simulations are used to evaluate the performance of the SEM algorithm and to compare with the imputation method proposed by Ghosh [Ann. Appl. Stat. 4 (2010) 1976–1999]. Three real examples illustrate the methodology proposed in this paper.


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Zhisheng Ye. Hon Keung Tony Ng. "On analysis of incomplete field failure data." Ann. Appl. Stat. 8 (3) 1713 - 1727, September 2014.


Published: September 2014
First available in Project Euclid: 23 October 2014

zbMATH: 1304.62150
MathSciNet: MR3271350
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/14-AOAS752

Keywords: EM algorithm , lifetime data , maximum likelihood estimator , missing information

Rights: Copyright © 2014 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


Vol.8 • No. 3 • September 2014
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