Computing critical values of exact tests by incorporating monte carlo simulations combined with statistical tables

Albert Vexler, Young Min Kim, Jihnhee Yu, Nicole A. Lazar, Alan D. Hutson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Various exact tests for statistical inference are available for powerful and accurate decision rules provided that corresponding critical values are tabulated or evaluated via Monte Carlo methods. This article introduces a novel hybrid method for computing p-values of exact tests by combining Monte Carlo simulations and statistical tables generated a priori. To use the data from Monte Carlo generations and tabulated critical values jointly, we employ kernel density estimation within Bayesian-type procedures. The p-values are linked to the posterior means of quantiles. In this framework, we present relevant information from the Monte Carlo experiments via likelihood-type functions, whereas tabulated critical values are used to reflect prior distributions. The local maximum likelihood technique is employed to compute functional forms of prior distributions from statistical tables. Empirical likelihood functions are proposed to replace parametric likelihood functions within the structure of the posterior mean calculations to provide a Bayesian-type procedure with a distribution-free set of assumptions. We derive the asymptotic properties of the proposed nonparametric posterior means of quantiles process. Using the theoretical propositions, we calculate the minimum number of needed Monte Carlo resamples for desired level of accuracy on the basis of distances between actual data characteristics (e.g. sample sizes) and characteristics of data used to present corresponding critical values in a table. The proposed approach makes practical applications of exact tests simple and rapid. Implementations of the proposed technique are easily carried out via the recently developed STATA and R statistical packages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1013-1030
Number of pages18
JournalScandinavian Journal of Statistics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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