Computing maximum likelihood estimates of loglinear models from marginal sums with special attention to loglinear item response theory

Henk Kelderman

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In this paper algorithms are described for obtaining the maximum likelihood estimates of the parameters in loglinear models. Modified versions of the iterative proportional fitting and Newton-Raphson algorithms are described that work on the minimal sufficient statistics rather than on the usual counts in the full contingency table. This is desirable if the contingency table becomes too large to store. Special attention is given to loglinear IRT models that are used for the analysis of educational and psychological test data. To calculate the necessary expected sufficient statistics and other marginal sums of the table, a method is described that avoids summing large numbers of elementary cell frequencies by writing them out in terms of multiplicative model parameters and applying the distributive law of multiplication over summation. These algorithms are used in the computer program LOGIMO. The modified algorithms are illustrated with simulated data.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)437-450
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Iterative proportional fitting
  • Newton-Raphson
  • multinornial distribution
  • METIS-135289
  • marginal tables
  • IR-85753

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