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Re: st: Increasing variance of dependent variable, logit, inter-rater agreement

From   "Supnithadnaporn, Anupit" <>
Subject   Re: st: Increasing variance of dependent variable, logit, inter-rater agreement
Date   Fri, 27 Feb 2009 20:28:32 -0500 (EST)


Dear Steven,

I appreciate your reply to my post. I am sorry if my explanation is too long.

Thank you,

> Please give more detail about what is being assessed. Is there a gold 
> standard, measured or latent, for what these technologies are trying 
> to agree upon?

The subject of my study is the in-used vehicles. In some areas of the US,
there is a regulation that requires a vehicle to be tested for its emission.
In the past, this instrument measured the real tailpipe emission. The test
is typically performed at the commercial inspection station. If the 
amount of emission surpasses the threshold standard, the vehicle fails.
The owner of failing vehicle has to repair his/her vehicle until it meets
the standard level otherwise he/she cannot renew the vehicle registration.

However, this tailpipe-test technology has been replaced by the new one called
OBD II test. This test no longer measures the tailpipe emission. Instead,
it gives the fail result if there is an error codes relating to the emission
control part of the vehicle.

Despite the different technologies measuring different things, they share the common goal of the regulation. That is to identify the high-polluting vehicles.

> * What is the first technology that measures characteristics and  
> arrives at a pass-fail?  How does it make this decision? Was age one 
> of these characteristics?

So, the first technology is the OBD II that detects the error codes and yield
the pass-fail result which is the *nominal level*. Having certain error codes
means that the vehicle is likely to emit high level of pollution beyond the
standards. As the vehicle become older, it is likely to pollute more. 
Moreover, the OBD II which is the computer unit of the vehicle is likely to
malfunction. If the OBD II is malfunction, it can give either the false-pass
or false-fail result.

> * How was the cut point y2b arrived at?

Fortunately, the regulator also has set up several unobtrusive monitoring 
stations on road. Basically, this technology uses the remote-sensing device
(RSD) to measure the real tailpipe emission from numerous vehicles running
pass by. This is the second technology in my analysis. It measures the real
tailpipe emission which is the *interval level*. And the threshold is based
on the EPA regulation set for particular type of vehicle make, model year, 
and weight - *the cut point of y2b*.

> * You say that the variability of y2a increases with age.  Is the  
> level of y2a related to age?

Correct. As a vehicle is getting older, its emission level is likely to be
high due to deterioration. Moreover, its emission can vary vastly different
from one measurement (by RSD) to the other. This is what I am trying to
take into account in my analysis

My data is a pooled-cross section time series of 4 years. 
My unit of analysis is a matched pair of a vehicle tested by OBD II and 
measured by RSD on road in the same year-testing cycle.
My hypothesis is that the OBD-RSD agreement is greater for the older vehicle
fleets. My sample size ~ 80,000 observations.
Of the total, 72% is classified as 'agree'
For 28% of 'disagree' group, around 90% is the Fail-RSD, Pass-OBD.

During the early analysis, I split the vehicles into different age groups
from 3-9 years. I obtain Kappa for each group and compare them. However,
I run into problem of Kappa when the prevalence (the disagree cases for
each age-group) is small.

Cicchetti DV, Feinstein AR. High agreement but low Kappa: II Resolving
the paradoxes. J Clin Epidemiol 1990; 43:551-8

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