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Order-restricted inference for clustered ROC data with application to fingerprint matching accuracy

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This article presents the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve as a commonly used resource to evaluate and compare the accuracy of classification methods or markers. 


Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve is commonly used to evaluate and compare the accuracy of classification methods or markers. Estimating ROC curves has been an important problem in various fields including biometric recognition and diagnostic medicine. In real applications, classification markers are often developed under two or more ordered conditions, such that a natural stochastic ordering exists among the observations. Incorporating such a stochastic ordering into estimation can improve statistical efficiency (Davidov and Herman, 2012). In addition, clustered and correlated data arise when multiple measurements are gleaned from the same subject, making estimation of ROC curves complicated due to within-cluster correlations. In this article, the authors propose to model the ROC curve using a weighted empirical process to jointly account for the order constraint and within-cluster correlation structure. The algebraic properties of resulting summary statistics of the ROC curve such as its area and partial area are also studied. The algebraic expressions reduce to the ones by Davidov and Herman (2012) for independent observations. The authors derive asymptotic properties of the proposed order-restricted estimators and show that they have smaller mean-squared errors than the existing estimators. Simulation studies also demonstrate better performance of the newly proposed estimators over existing methods for finite samples. The proposed method is further exemplified with the fingerprint matching data from the National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Database 4.

Date Published: January 1, 2019