A general approach to confidence regions for optimal factor levels of response surfaces

John J. Peterson, Suntara Cahya, Enrique del Castillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


For a response surface experiment, an approximate hypothesis test and an associated confidence region is proposed for the minimizing (or maximizing) factor-level configuration. Carter et al. (1982, Cancer Research 42, 2963-2971) show that confidence regions for optimal conditions provide a way to make decisions about therapeutic synergism. The response surface may be constrained to be within a specified, bounded region. These constraint regions can be quite general. This allows for more realistic constraint modeling and a wide degree of applicability, including constraints occurring in mixture experiments. The usual assumption of a quadratic model is also generalized to include any regression model that is linear in the model parameters. An intimate connection is established between this confidence region and the Box-Hunter (1954, Biometrika 41, 190-199) confidence region for a stationary point. As a byproduct, this methodology also provides a way to construct a confidence interval for the difference between the optimal mean response and the mean response at a specified factor-level configuration. The application of this confidence region is illustrated with two examples. Extensive simulations indicate that this confidence region has good coverage properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-431
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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