Kaplan-Meier based tests for exponentiality in the presence of censoring

by   E. Bothma, et al.

In this paper we test the composite hypothesis that lifetimes follow an exponential distribution based on observed randomly right censored data. Testing this hypothesis is complicated by the presence of this censoring, due to the fact that not all lifetimes are observed. To account for this complication, we propose modifications to tests based on the empirical characteristic function and Laplace transform. In the full sample case these empirical functions can be expressed as integrals with respect to the empirical distribution function of the lifetimes. We propose replacing this estimate of the distribution function by the Kaplan-Meier estimate. The resulting test statistics can be expressed in easily calculable forms in terms of summations of functionals of the observed data. Additionally, a general framework for goodness-of-fit testing, in the presence of random right censoring, is outlined. A Monte Carlo study is performed, the results of which indicate that the newly modified tests generally outperform the existing tests. A practical application, concerning initial remission times of leukemia patients, is discussed along with some concluding remarks and avenues for future research.


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