Usually, when testing the null hypothesis that a distribution has one mode against the alternative that it has two, the null hypothesis is interpreted as entailing that the density of the sampling distribution has a unique point of zero slope, which is a local maximum. In this paper we argue that a more appropriate null hypothesis is that the density has two points of zero slope, of which one is a local maximum and the other is a shoulder. We show that when a test for a mode-with-shoulder is properly calibrated, so that it has asymptotically correct level, it is generally conservative when applied to the case of a mode without a shoulder. We suggest methods for calibrating both the bandwidth and dip-excess mass tests in the setting of a mode with a shoulder. We also provide evidence in support of the converse: a test calibrated for a single mode without a shoulder tends to be anticonservative when applied to a mode with a shoulder. The calibration method involves resampling from a ‘‘template’’ density with exactly one mode and one shoulder. It exploits the following asymptotic factorization property for both the sample and resample forms of the test statistic: all dependence of these quantities on the sampling distribution cancels asymptotically from their ratio. In contrast to other approaches, the method has very good adaptivity properties.
"Mode testing in difficult cases." Ann. Statist. 27 (4) 1294 - 1315, August 1999. https://doi.org/10.1214/aos/1017938927