Statistics Colloquium : Dr. Darcy Steeg Morris
Abstract: Categorical data are often observed as counts resulting from a fixed number of trials in which each trial consists of making one selection from a prespecified set of categories. The multinomial distribution serves as a standard model for such data but assumes that trials are independent and identically distributed. Extensions such as the Dirichlet-multinomial and random-clumped multinomial distribution can express positive association, where trials are more likely to result in a common category due to membership in a common cluster. This work considers a Conway-Maxwell-multinomial (CMM) distribution for modeling clustered categorical data exhibiting positively or negatively associated trials. The CMM distribution features a dispersion parameter which allows it to adapt to a range of association levels and includes several recognizable distributions as special cases. We present properties of CMM, illustrate its flexible characteristics, describe the CMM regression model, and demonstrate the model via data analysis examples.