Response variable selection in principal response curves using permutation testing

Nadia J. Vendrig*, Lia Hemerik, Cajo J.F. Ter Braak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Principal response curves analysis (PRC) is widely applied to experimental multivariate longitudinal data for the study of time-dependent treatment effects on the multiple outcomes or response variables (RVs). Often, not all of the RVs included in such a study are affected by the treatment and RV-selection can be used to identify those RVs and so give a better estimate of the principal response. We propose four backward selection approaches, based on permutation testing, that differ in whether coefficient size is used or not in ranking the RVs. These methods are expected to give a more robust result than the use of a straightforward cut-off value for coefficient size. Performance of all methods is demonstrated in a simulation study using realistic data. The permutation testing approach that uses information on coefficient size of RVs speeds up the algorithm without affecting its performance. This most successful permutation testing approach removes roughly 95 % of the RVs that are unaffected by the treatment irrespective of the characteristics of the data set and, in the simulations, correctly identifies up to 97 % of RVs affected by the treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-143
JournalAquatic Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • longitudinal data
  • multivariate analysis
  • multivariate time series
  • permutation testing
  • Principal response curves
  • variable selection


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