Hochberg's Step–Up Method: Cutting Corners Off Holm's Step–Down Method

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Abstract

Holm's method and Hochberg's method for multiple testing can be viewed as step-down and step-up versions of the Bonferroni test. We show that both are special cases of partition testing. The difference is that, while Holm's method tests each partition hypothesis using the largest order statistic, setting a critical value based on the Bonferroni inequality, Hochberg's method tests each partition hypothesis using all the order statistics, setting a series of critical values based on Simes' inequality. Geometrically, Hochberg's step-up method ‘cuts corners’ off the acceptance regions of Holm's step-down method by making assumptions on the joint distribution of the test statistics. As can be expected, partition testing making use of the joint distribution of the test statistics is more powerful than partition testing using probabilistic inequalities. Thus, if the joint distribution of the test statistics is available, through modelling for example, we recommend partition step-down testing, setting exact critical values based on the joint distribution.

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