Using P-splines to test the linearity of partially linear models

Chin-Shang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The nonparametric component in a partially linear model is estimated by a linear combination of fixed-knot cubic B-splines with a second-order difference penalty on the adjacent B-spline coefficients. The resulting penalized least-squares estimator is used to construct two Wald-type spline-based test statistics for the null hypothesis of the linearity of the nonparametric function. When the number of knots is fixed, the first test statistic asymptotically has the distribution of a linear combination of independent chi-squared random variables, each with one degree of freedom, under the null hypothesis. The smoothing parameter is determined by specifying a value for the asymptotically expected value of the test statistic under the null hypothesis. When the number of knots is fixed and under the null hypothesis, the second test statistic asymptotically has a chi-squared distribution with K = q + 2 degrees of freedom, where q is the number of knots used for estimation. The power performances of the two proposed tests are investigated via simulation experiments, and the practicality of the proposed methodology is illustrated using a real-life data set.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-552
Number of pages11
JournalStatistical Methodology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • B-splines
  • P-splines
  • Penalized least-squares
  • Wald-type spline-based test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability


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