PCovR2: A flexible principal covariates regression approach to parsimoniously handle multiple criterion variables

Sopiko Gvaladze, Marlies Vervloet, Katrijn Van Deun, Henk A. L. Kiers, Eva Ceulemans*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Principal covariates regression (PCovR) allows one to deal with the interpretational and technical problems associated with running ordinary regression using many predictor variables. In PCovR, the predictor variables are reduced to a limited number of components, and simultaneously, criterion variables are regressed on these components. By means of a weighting parameter, users can flexibly choose how much they want to emphasize reconstruction and prediction. However, when datasets contain many criterion variables, PCovR users face new interpretational problems, because many regression weights will be obtained and because some criteria might be unrelated to the predictors. We therefore propose PCovR2, which extends PCovR by also reducing the criteria to a few components. These criterion components are predicted based on the predictor components. The PCovR2 weighting parameter can again be flexibly used to focus on the reconstruction of the predictors and criteria, or on filtering out relevant predictor components and predictable criterion components. We compare PCovR2 to two other approaches, based on partial least squares (PLS) and principal components regression (PCR), that also reduce the criteria and are therefore called PLS2 and PCR2. By means of a simulated example, we show that PCovR2 outperforms PLS2 and PCR2 when one aims to recover all relevant predictor components and predictable criterion components. Moreover, we conduct a simulation study to evaluate how well PCovR2, PLS2 and PCR2 succeed in finding (1) all underlying components and (2) the subset of relevant predictor and predictable criterion components. Finally, we illustrate the use of PCovR2 by means of empirical data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1648–1668
Number of pages21
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Early online date8-Jan-2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2021

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