Evaluation of the Hosmer-Lemeshow global goodness-of-fit statistic for mixed variable logistic regression models

Nancy J Petersen, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The performance of the Hosmer-Lemeshow global goodness-of-fit statistic for logistic regression models was explored in a wide variety of conditions not previously fully investigated. Computer simulations, each consisting of 500 regression models, were run to assess the statistic in 23 different situations. The items which varied among the situations included the number of observations used in each regression, the number of covariates, the degree of dependence among the covariates, the combinations of continuous and discrete variables, and the generation of the values of the dependent variable for model fit or lack of fit. The study found that the $\rm\ C$g* statistic was adequate in tests of significance for most situations. However, when testing data which deviate from a logistic model, the statistic has low power to detect such deviation. Although grouping of the estimated probabilities into quantiles from 8 to 30 was studied, the deciles of risk approach was generally sufficient. Subdividing the estimated probabilities into more than 10 quantiles when there are many covariates in the model is not necessary, despite theoretical reasons which suggest otherwise. Because it does not follow a X$\sp2$ distribution, the statistic is not recommended for use in models containing only categorical variables with a limited number of covariate patterns. The statistic performed adequately when there were at least 10 observations per quantile. Large numbers of observations per quantile did not lead to incorrect conclusions that the model did not fit the data when it actually did. However, the statistic failed to detect lack of fit when it existed and should be supplemented with further tests for the influence of individual observations. Careful examination of the parameter estimates is also essential since the statistic did not perform as desired when there was moderate to severe collinearity among covariates. Two methods studied for handling tied values of the estimated probabilities made only a slight difference in conclusions about model fit. Neither method split observations with identical probabilities into different quantiles. Approaches which create equal size groups by separating ties should be avoided.

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Recommended Citation

Petersen, Nancy J, "Evaluation of the Hosmer-Lemeshow global goodness-of-fit statistic for mixed variable logistic regression models" (1996). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9700049.