Depth-weighted robust multivariate regression with application to sparse data

A robust method for multivariate regression is developed based on robust estimators of the joint location and scatter matrix of the explanatory and response variables using the notion of data depth. The multivariate regression estimator possesses desirable affine equivariance properties, achieves the best breakdown point of any affine equivariant estimator, and has an influence function which is bounded in both the response as well as the predictor variable. To increase the efficiency of this estimator, a re-weighted estimator based on robust Mahalanobis distances of the residual vectors is proposed. In practice, the method is more stable than existing methods that are constructed using subsamples of the data. The resulting multivariate regression technique is computationally feasible, and turns out to perform better than several popular robust multivariate regression methods when applied to various simulated data as well as a real benchmark data set. When the data dimension is quite high compared to the sample size it is still possible to use meaningful notions of data depth along with the corresponding depth values to construct a robust estimator in a sparse setting.

Dutta S, Genton MG (2017) Depth-weighted robust multivariate regression with application to sparse data. Canadian Journal of Statistics 45: 164–184. Available:

We are thankful to the editor, associate editor, and two anonymous referees for their useful comments which led to an improvement in the method and the article.


Canadian Journal of Statistics


Additional Links

Permanent link to this record