The authors consider the problem of estimating a covariance matrix in the standard multivariate normal situation. The loss function is one obtained naturally from the problem of estimating several normal mean vectors in an empirical Bayes situation. Estimators which dominate any constant multiple of the sample covariance matrix are presented. These estimators work by shrinking the sample eigenvalues toward a central value, in much the same way as the James-Stein estimator for a mean vector shrinks the maximum likelihood estimators toward a common value. (For publication in the Annals of Statistics.)
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.