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METRON - International Journal of Statistics

2007, vol. LXV, n. 2, pp. 153-174

SARALAEES NADARAJAH

A new bivariate beta distribution


with application to drought data

Summary - A new bivariate beta distribution with generalized beta marginals is


introduced. Various representations are derived for its product moments, marginal
densities, marginal moments, conditional densities and conditional moments. The
methods of moments and maximum likelihood are used to derive the associated estimation procedures as well as the Fisher information matrix. A simulation scheme is
provided. Finally, an application to drought data from Nebraska is illustrated.
Key Words - Bivariate beta distribution; Drought modeling.

1. Introduction
There have been very few bivariate beta distributions proposed in the statistics literature, see Chapter 9 in Hutchinson and Lai (1991), Chapter 4 in Arnold
et al. (1999) and Chapter 49 in Kotz et al. (2000) for good reviews.
The bivariate beta distribution discussed in Olkin and Liu (2003) is actually
a particular case of a multivariate beta distribution introduced by Libby and
Novick (1982). The most recent bivariate beta distributions are those due to
Nadarajah and Kotz (2005a, 2005b) and Nadarajah (2006, 2007).
The bivariate beta distributions have attracted useful applications in several
areas; for example, in the modeling of the proportions of substances in a
mixture, brand shares, i.e. the proportions of brands of some consumer product
that are bought by customers (Chatfield, 1975), proportions of the electorate
voting for the candidate in a two-candidate election (Hoyer and Mayer, 1976)
and the dependence between two soil strength parameters (A-Grivas and Asaoka,
1982). They have also been used extensively as a prior in Bayesian statistics
(see, for example, Apostolakis and Moieni (1987)).
In this note, we introduce a new bivariate beta distribution with generalized
beta marginals, study its properties, illustrate an application and show improved
Received March 2007 and revised June 2007.

154

SARALAEES NADARAJAH

performance with respect to other recently developed distributions. The joint


pdf of this new distribution is taken to be
f (x, y) =

C x 1 y 1 (1 x) 1 (1 y) 1
(1 x y)

(1)

for 0 < x < 1, 0 < y < 1, > > 0, > > 0 and 0 < 1, where
C = C(, , , ) denotes the normalizing constant.
Application of equation (3.1.2.5) in Prudnikov et al. (1986, volume 1)
shows that one can determine C = C(, , , ) as
()()( )( )
1
=
2 F1 (, ; ; ) ,
C
 2 ( )
where

2 F1

(2)

is the Gauss hypergeometric function defined by


2 F1

(a, b; c; x) =


(a)k (b)k x k
k=0

(c)k

k!

and ( f )k = f ( f + 1) ( f + k 1) denotes the ascending factorial. Using the


series expansion


 ( + j) z j
,
(1 z) =
 ( ) j!
j=0
one can re-express (1) by the mixture representation
f (x, y) =


C D( j) x j+1 y j+1 (1 x) 1 (1 y) 1
j=0

 ( )

B ( j + , ) B ( j + , )

(3)

where

j  ( + j) B ( j + , ) B ( j + , )
j!
and B(, ) is the Beta function defined by
D( j) =

B(a, b) =


0

t a1 (1 t)b1 dt.

Note that (3) is a mixture of a product of independent beta distributions. Because of (2), we refer to (1) as the Gauss hypergeometric beta distribution.
The parameters and 0 < 1 introduce the correlation between the
X and Y components of the distribution. The case = 0 corresponds to zero
correlation and (1) reduces to a product of two independent beta pdfs. Smaller
values of and larger values of correspond To stronger correlation between
the components, see Figures 1 and 2.

155

A new bivariate beta distribution with application to drought data

= 5
1.0
y
0.2 0.4
0.0

0.0

0.2 0.4

0.6

0.8

0.6 0.8

1.0

=3

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

0.0

0.2

=7

0.4

0.8

1.0

0.6

0.8

1.0

0.2

0.4

0.6 0.8

1.0

=9

0.0

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6 0.8

1.0

0.6

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

0.0

0.2

0.4
x

Figure 1. Contours of the pdf (1) for = 2, = 2, = 0.5 and the values of as specified above.

By Theorem 1 below, the Pearson correlation coefficient between the components is given by
Corr(X, Y )


= C B ( + 1, ) B ( + 1, )

3 F2

( + 1, , + 1; + 1, +1; )

C 2 B (, ) B ( + 1, ) B ( + 1, ) B (, )

2 F1

(, + 1; + 1; )

2 F1

( + 1, ; + 1; )

Var(X ) Var(Y ) ,
(4)

where
Var (X ) = C B (, ) B ( + 2, )

2 F1

(, + 2; + 2; )

C 2 B 2 (, ) B 2 ( + 1, ) { 2 F1 (, + 1; + 1; )}2

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SARALAEES NADARAJAH

= 0.2
1 .0
0.8
0 .6

y
0.4
0 .2
0.0

0.0

0 .2

0.4

0 .6

0.8

1 .0

= 0.4

0.0

0 .2

0.4

0 .6

0.8

1 .0

0.0

0 .2

0.4

0 .6

0.8

1 .0

= 0.6
1 .0
0.8
0 .6
0.4
0 .2
0.0

0.0

0 .2

0.4

0 .6

0.8

1 .0

= 0.8

0.0

0 .2

0.4

0 .6

0.8

1 .0

0.0

0 .2

0.4

0 .6

0.8

1 .0

Figure 2. Contours of the pdf (1) for = 2, = 2, = 4 and the values of as specified above.

and
Var (Y ) = C B ( + 2, ) B (, )

2 F1

( + 2, ; + 2; )

C B (, ) B ( + 1, ) { 2 F1 ( + 1, ; + 1; )}2 ,
2

where

3 F2

is the hypergeometric function defined by


3 F2 (a, b, c; d, e; x) =


(a)k (b)k (c)k x k
k=0

(d)k (e)k

k!

The parameters and can also be interpreted by examining the conditional


distributions of (X, Y ). By equation (13) below, the conditional distribution of
X given Y = y belongs to Libby and Novick (1982)s generalized beta family
with the parameters , , y and .

157

A new bivariate beta distribution with application to drought data

The parameters and provide the scale variation from the standard beta.
By equation (14) below, the conditional distribution of Y given X = x belongs
to Libby and Novick (1982)s generalized beta family with the parameters ,
, x and . The parameters and again provide the scale variation from
the standard beta. The parameters and control the marginal characteristics
of X and Y , respectively.
In fact, by equations (11) and (12) below, the marginal distributions of X
and Y are identical if and only if = . Thus, and /( + ) could
be used as measures of asymmetry of (1). The parameters and also have
some say on the correlation between the components.
For example, < 1 or < 1 implies weak dependence between the
components, see Figure 3. On the other hand, if > 1 and > 1 then the
correlation is strong and getting stronger with larger values of and , see
Figure 4.
= 0.6 & = 0.6
1.0
0.6 0.8
0.2 0.4
0.0

0.0

0.2 0.4

0.6 0.8

1.0

= 0.9 & = 0.9

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

= 0.9 & = 2

= 0.9 & = 3

0.8

1.0

0.8

1.0

0.6 0.8
y
0.2 0.4
0.0

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6 0.8

1.0

0.2

1.0

0.0

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6
x

0.8

1.0

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6
x

Figure 3. Contours of the pdf (1) for = 4, = 0.5 and the values of and as specified above.

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SARALAEES NADARAJAH

= 2& = 2
1 .0
0.8
0 .6
y
0.4
0 .2
0.0

0.0

0 .2

0.4

0 .6

0.8

1 .0

= 3& =3

0.4

0 .6

0.8

1 .0

0.0

0 .2

0.4

0 .6

= 4& = 4

= 5& = 5

0.8

1 .0

0.8

1 .0

0.8
0 .6
y
0.4
0 .2
0.0

0.0

0 .2

0.4

0 .6

0.8

1 .0

0 .2

1 .0

0.0

0.0

0 .2

0.4

0 .6

0.8

1 .0

0.0

0 .2

0.4

0 .6
x

Figure 4. Contours of the pdf (1) for = 10, = 0.5 and the values of and as specified above.

A distribution is said to be positively likelihood ratio dependent (PLRD) if its


pdf f (x, y) satisfies
f (x1 , y1 ) f (x2 , y2 )
1
(5)
f (x1 , y2 ) f (x2 , y1 )
for all x1 > x2 and y1 > y2 (see Tong (1980)).
For the pdf given by (1), (5) is equivalent to x1 y2 + x2 y1 x1 y1 + x2 y2 ,
which clearly holds. The PLRD has many implications. It implies:
1. Pr(X x | Y = y) is nonincreasing in y for all x;
2. Pr(Y y | X = x) is nonincreasing in x for all y;
3. Pr(Y > y | X > x) is nondecreasing in x for all y;
4. Pr(Y y | X x) is nonincreasing in x for all y;

A new bivariate beta distribution with application to drought data

159

5. Pr(Y > y | X > x) Pr(Y > y) Pr(X > x);


6. Pr(Y y | X x) Pr(Y y) Pr(X x).
In particular, X and Y are positive quadrant dependent. Let us now briefly
discuss the shape of (1). The derivatives of log f with respect to x and y are

and

1 1
y
log f
=

+
x
x
1x
1 x y

(6)

log f
1 1
x
=

+
,
y
y
1y
1 x y

(7)

respectively.
Setting (6) and (7) to zero, one notes that the critical points of (1) are
given by the simultaneous solutions of the two quadratic equations
2yx 2 + { y + 2 ( 1)y} x + 1 = 0
and
2xy 2 + { x + 2 ( 1)x} y + 1 = 0.
Thus, (1) can exhibit up to four critical points. The relationship of (1) to
recently developed bivariate beta distributions is as follows: Olkin and Liu
(2003)s bivariate beta distribution is the particular case of (1) for = a,
= b, = a + b + c and = 1.
However, (1) is not a particular case of Libby and Novick (1982)s multivariate beta distribution, so (1) is indeed a new bivariate beta distribution while
that given by Olkin and Liu (2003) is not.
The bivariate F1 beta and the bivariate F3 beta distributions (Nadarajah
and Kotz, 2005b; Nadarajah, 2006) are defined over the unit simplex, {(x, y) :
0 < x < 1, 0 < y < 1 x}.
The bivariate F2 beta distribution (Nadarajah, 2007) defined over [0, 1]2
has no relationship with (1) and involves the Appell hypergeometric function
of the second kind.
Two of the three bivariate beta distributions introduced by Nadarajah and
Kotz (2005a) are defined over the unit simplex. The one defined over [0, 1]2 has
no relationship with (1) and involves a doubly infinite series of the incomplete
beta function.
Of the three bivariate beta distributions defined over [0, 1]2 (i.e. the bivariate F2 beta distribution and the ones given by Nadarajah and Kotz (2005a)
and (1)), the one given by (1) is the simplest and most tractable, both mathematically and computationally.

160

SARALAEES NADARAJAH

The rest of this note is organized as follows. In Sections 2 to 4, various representations are derived for the product moments, marginal densities,
marginal moments, conditional densities and the conditional moments associated
with (1).
The associated estimation procedures by the methods of moments and
maximum likelihood as well as the Fisher information matrix are presented in
Section 5. A simulation procedure is discussed in Section 6. Finally, improved
performance of the model given by (1) is illustrated in Section 7. Drought data
from the State of Nebraska are used.

2. Product moments
Theorem 1 and Corollary 1 derive two representations for the product
moments of (1).
The first is expressed in terms of the 3 F2 hypergeometric function while
the second is an infinite series of elementary functions.
Theorem 1. The product moment of X and Y associated with (1) is given by
E (X m Y n )
= C B( + n, )B( + m, ) 3 F2 ( + n, , + m; + n, + m; )
(8)
for any real m > 0 and n > 0. In particular,
E (X m ) = C B (, ) B ( + m, ) 2 F1 (, + m; + m; )
and
E (Y n ) = C B ( + n, ) B (, ) 2 F1 ( + n, ; + n; )
for any real m > 0 and n > 0.
Proof. One can write
E (X m Y n )
=C
=C

x m+1 (1 x) 1


0

y n+1 (1 y) 1
d yd x
(1 x y)

x m+1 (1 x) 1 B ( + n, )

2 F1

( + n, ; + n; x) d x,

where we have used equation (2.2.6.15) in Prudnikov et al. (1986, volume 1)


to calculate the integral with respect to y. The result of the theorem follows
by using equation (2.21.1.4) in Prudnikov et al. (1986, volume 3) to calculate
the integral in (9).

A new bivariate beta distribution with application to drought data

161

Corollary 1. The product moment of X and Y associated with (1) is given by


( + n) j ( ) j j

E (X Y ) = C B ( + n, )
m

( + n) j j!

j=0

B ( + m + j, ) (10)

for any real m > 0 and n > 0.


Proof. Using the definition of the Gauss hypergeometric function, one can
rewrite (9) as
 1


( + n) j ( ) j (x) j
m n
m+1
1
dx
(1x)
B( + n, )
E(X Y ) = C x
( + n) j j!
0
j=0
= C B( + n, )


( + n) j ( ) j j

= C B ( + n, )

j=0


j=0

( + n) j j!

x m+ j+1 (1x) 1 d x

( + n) j ( ) j
B (m + j + , ) .
( + n) j j!
j

The result of the theorem follows.

3. Marginal PDFs
Theorem 2 derives the marginal pdfs of (1).
Theorem 2. If X and Y have the joint pdf (1) then the marginal pdfs are given by
(11)
f X (x) = C B(, )x 1 (1 x) 1 (1 x)
and
(12)
f Y (y) = C B(, )y 1 (1 y) 1 (1 y)
for 0 < x < 1 and 0 < y < 1.
Proof. The marginal pdf of X can be written as
f X (x) = C x 1 (1 x) 1

y 1 (1 y) 1 (1 x y) dy

= C x 1 (1 x) 1 B (, ) 2 F1 (, ; ; x) ,
which follows by equation (2.2.6.15) in Prudnikov et al. (1986, volume 1).
The result in (11) follows by noting that

2 F1 (, ; ; x) = (1 x)
The result in (12) can be determined similarly.
The pdfs in (11) and (12) belong to Libby and Novick (1982)s generalized
beta family. If = 0 then both (11) and (12) reduce to standard beta pdfs.
Note further that the pdfs of 1 X and 1 Y belong to the same family of
pdfs as (11) and (12).

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SARALAEES NADARAJAH

4. Conditional PDFs and moments


Theorems 3 and 4 derive the conditional pdfs and conditional moments of
(1). As in the previous section, expressions for the moments involve the Gauss
hypergeometric function.
Theorem 3. If X and Y have the joint pdf (1) then the conditional pdf of X given
Y = y is given by
f X |Y (x | y) =

x 1 (1 x) 1 (1 y)
B (, ) (1 x y)

(13)

for 0 < x < 1.


The conditional pdf of Y given X = x is given by
f Y |X (y | x) =

y 1 (1 y) 1 (1 x)
B (, ) (1 x y)

(14)

for 0 < y < 1.


Proof. follows immediately from (1) and Theorem 2.
The conditional pdfs in (13) and (14) also belong to Libby and Novick
(1982)s generalized beta family. If = 0 then both (13) and (14) reduce to
standard beta pdfs.
Theorem 4. The moments of the conditional pdfs in (13) and (14) are given by
E (X m | y) =

B ( + m, )
(1 y) 2 F1 ( + m, ; + m; y)
B (, )

and
E (Y n | x) =

B ( + n, )
(1 x) 2 F1 ( + n, ; + n; x)
B (, )

for any real m > 0 and n > 0.


Proof. follows immediately from Theorem 3 since both (13) and (14) belong
to Libby and Novick (1982)s generalized beta family.

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A new bivariate beta distribution with application to drought data

5. Estimation
The basic model of the paper is (1) parameterized by (, , , ). Here,
we consider the estimation of the four parameters by the methods of moments
and maximum likelihood. We also compute the associated Fisher information
matrix.
Suppose (x1 , y1 ), . . . , (xn , yn ) is a random sample from (1). The method of
moments estimators of the four parameters can be obtained as the simultaneous
solutions of the equations:
C B( +1, )B(+1, ) 3 F2 ( +1, , +1; +1, +1;) =
C B( +2, )B(+2, ) 3 F2 ( +2, , +2; +2, +2;) =

n
1
x j yj ,
n j=1
n
1
x 2 y2,
n j=1 j j

n
1
x j3 yj3 ,
C B( +3, )B(+3, ) 3 F2 ( +3, , +3; +3, +3; ) =
n j=1

and
C B(+4, )B(+4, ) 3 F2 (+4, , +4; +4, +4; ) =

n
1
x 4 y4,
n j=1 j j

where C is given by (2). The log-likelihood can be expressed as:


log L (, , , ) = n log C + ( 1)

n


log x j + ( 1)

j=1

+ ( 1)
+ ( 1)

n

j=1
n


n


log yj

j=1

log(1 x j )
log(1 yj )

j=1

n


log(1 x j yj ).

j=1

The first-order derivatives of this with respect to the four parameters are:
n
n



log L
n C 
=
+
log x j
log 1 x j ,

C
j=1
j=1

(15)

n
n



log L
n C 
log yj
log 1 yj ,
=
+

C
j=1
j=1

(16)

n
n
n


log L
n C 
log(1x j ) +
log(1 yj )
log(1x j yj ), (17)
=
+

C j=1
j=1
j=1

164

SARALAEES NADARAJAH

and

n

n C
x j yj
log L
=
+
.

C
1

x j yj
j=1

(18)

The maximum likelihood estimators of (, , , ) are the simultaneous solutions of the equations log L/ = 0, log L/ = 0, log L/ = 0
and log L/ = 0. The associated Fisher information matrix requires the
second-order derivatives of log L which can be calculated as:
n
n 2C
n C C 
x j yj
2 log L
=
2
+

C C
1 x j yj
j=1

and

2 log L
n 2C
n
=
2
2
C
C2

2

n

j=1




x j yj

2

1 x j yj

2 .

All of the remaining second-order derivatives of log L can be expressed as:


2 log L
n 2C
n C C
=
2
.
i j
C i j
C i j
Thus, by noting that


E
and

XY
1 XY

X 2Y 2
(1 X Y )2

C (, , , )
C ( + 1, + 1, + 1, )

C (, , , )
,
C ( + 2, + 2, + 2, )

the elements of the Fisher information matrix can be expressed as


2 log L
E

2 log L
E
2
and

n C C
nC (, , , )
n 2C
+ 2

,
C C
C ( + 1, + 1, + 1, )

n 2C
n
2 +
C
C2

2 log L
E
i j

2

n C (, , , )
,
C ( + 2, + 2, + 2, )

n 2C
n C C
+ 2
.
C i j
C i j

165

A new bivariate beta distribution with application to drought data

The computation of these elements requires the first and second order derivatives
of C. The first order derivatives of C can be expressed as

= 2 ( ) () 2 F1 (,; ;) ( ) 2 F1 (,; ;)+


2 F1 (,; ;)



()()( )( )( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2 ,

C
= 2 ( ) () 2 F1 (,; ;) ( ) 2 F1 (,; ;)+
2 F1 (,; ;)



()()( )( )( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2 ,

C
=  2 ( ) ( ) 2 F1 (,; ;) ( ) 2 F1 (,; ;)

2 F1 (,; ;) + 2 ( ) 2 F1 (,; ;)


 ()  ()  ( )  ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2 ,
and

C
=  2 ( ) 2 F1 ( + 1, + 1; + 1; )

 ()  ()  ( )  ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))

The second order


derivatives of C are

2
C
2
2
2
2
2 =  ( ) ()( 2 F1 (, ; ; )) 2 () ( )( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))





2
+ 2 ()
F
(,
;

;
)
2 1
2 F1 (,; ;) ()( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))

+ 2 ( )( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2



2 ( )
2 F1 (, ; ; ) 2 F1 (, ; ; )


2


;

;
)
F
( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2 + 2
(,
2 1




2

2 F1 (, ; ; )
2 F1 (, ; ; )
2


 ()  ()  ( )  ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))

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SARALAEES NADARAJAH

2C
=  2 ( ) () ()( 2 F1 (,; ;))2 () ( )( 2 F1 (,; ;))2




2
+ ()
2 F1 (,; ;) 2 F1 (,; ;) ( ) ()( 2 F1 (,; ;))




+ ( ) ()( 2 F1 (,; ;))2 ( )


F
(,;
;)
2 1
2 F1 (,; ;)






F
(,;;)
()
F
(,;;)
F
(,;;)
() 2 F1 (,;;)
+
2 1
2 1
2 1







2
+2
2 F1 (,; ;)
2 F1 (,; ;)
2 F1 (,; ;) 2 F1 (,; ;)

 ()  ()  ( )  ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))
2C
=  2 ( )

() ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2


() ( )( 2 F1 (,; ;)) ()
2 F1 (,; ;) 2 F1 (,; ;)

+ 2 () ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2 + ( ( ))2 ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2


2

+ ( ) ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2



+ ( )
F
;

;
)
(,
2 1
2 F1 (, ; ; )

2 ( ) ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2 ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2



( )
2 F1 (, ; ; )
2 F1 (, ; ; )




;
)
F
( ) 2 F1 (, ; ; )
(,
2 1




2
2 F1 (, ; ; )
2 F1 (, ; ; )




+2
F
(,;
;)
( ) 2 F1 (,; ;)
2 1


2
+ 2 F1 (,; ;)
2 F1 (,; ;)

 ()  ()  ( )  ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))

167

A new bivariate beta distribution with application to drought data

2C
=  2 ( ) () 2 F1 ( + 1, + 1; + 1; ) 2 F1 (, ; ; )

( ) 2 F1 ( + 1, + 1; + 1; ) 2 F1 (, ; ; )



+2
2 F1 (, ; ; ) 2 F1 ( + 1, + 1; + 1; )

2 F1 ( + 1, + 1; + 1; ) 2 F1 (, ; ; )

2 F1 (, ; ; )

2 F1

( + 1, + 1; + 1; )

 ()  ()  ( )  ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))3 ,

2C
=  2 ( ) 2 ()( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2 2 () ( )( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2
2




2
+ 2 ()
2 F1 (,; ;) 2 F1 (,; ;) ()( 2 F1 (,; ;))




+ 2 ( )( 2 F1 (,; ;))2 2 ( )
F
(,;
;)
2 1
2 F1 (,; ;)


2


2
( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; )) + 2
2 F1 (, ; ; )




2

2 F1 (, ; ; )
2 F1 (, ; ; )
2


 ()  ()  ( )  ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))

2C
= 2 ( ) ( ) ()( 2 F1 (,; ;))2

() ( )( 2 F1 (,; ;))2



2
()
2 F1 (,; ; ) 2 F1 (, ; ; ) + 2 () ( )( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))

+ ( ) ( )( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2 + 2 ( )( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2



;
)
+ ( )
F
(,
2 1
2 F1 (, ; ; )

2 ( ) ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2 ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2



( )
2 F1 (,; ;) 2 F1 (,; ;)

168

SARALAEES NADARAJAH

( )
2 F1 (,; ;) 2 F1 (,; ;)




2
2 F1 (,; ;)
2 F1 (,; ;)







2
+2
2 F1 (,; ;) ( ) 2 F1 (,; ;)+
2 F1 (,; ;) 2 F1 (,;;)

 ()  ()  ( )  ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))

2C
=  2 ( ) () 2 F1 ( + 1, + 1; + 1; ) 2 F1 (, ; ; )

( ) 2 F1 ( + 1, + 1; + 1; ) 2 F1 (, ; ; )



F
2 F1 ( + 1, + 1; + 1; )
+2
;

;
)
(,
2 1

2 F1 ( + 1, + 1; + 1; ) 2 F1 (, ; ; )

2 F1 (, ; ; )

2 F1

( + 1, + 1; + 1; )

 ()  ()  ( )  ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; )) ,
3

2C
2
2
2
2 =  ( ) ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))

+ 2 ( ) ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2



;
)
+ 2 ( )
F
(,
2 1
2 F1 (, ; ; )

4 ( ) ( )( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2 ( )( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2
+ 2 ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2



+ 2 ( )
F
;

;
)
(,
2 1

(, ; ; )

2 F1


4 ( ) ( )( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2 ( )( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2


+2

2

2 F1

(, ; ; )


2 F1

(, ; ; ) ( )

2 F1

(, ; ; )

169

A new bivariate beta distribution with application to drought data

2
2 F1 (, ; ; )
2


2 F1 (, ; ; )

+ 4 2 ( )( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2

+ 2 ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2


 ()  ()  ( )  ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))

2C
=  2 ( ) ( )

+ ( )


+2
+

2 F1

2 F1

2 F1

( + 1, + 1; + 1; )


2 F1 (, ; ; )

2 ( )

2 F1

( + 1, + 1; + 1; )

( + 1, + 1; + 1; )

(, ; ; )

2 F1

2 F1

2 F1

2 F1

(, ; ; )

(, ; ; )

( + 1, + 1; + 1; )
2 F1

(, ; ; )

( + 1, + 1; + 1; )

2 F1

( + 1, + 1; + 1; )

2 F1

(, ; ; )

 ()  ()  ( )  ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))3 2 ,
and

2C
=  2 ( ) 2 ( 2 F1 ( + 1, + 1; + 1; ))2 2
2
2 ( 2 F1 ( + 1, + 1; + 1; ))2 + ( 2 F1 (, ; ; ))2 2
+

2 F1

(, ; ; )

2 F1

( + 1, + 1; + 1; )

2 F1

(, ; ; )

2 F1

( + 1, + 1; + 1; )

2 F1

(, ; ; )

2 F1

( + 1, + 1; + 1; )

2 F1

(, ; ; )

2 F1

( + 1, + 1; + 1; )

()()( ) ( ) ( 2 F1 (, ; ; )) ( 1) .
3

170

SARALAEES NADARAJAH

6. Simulation
The rejection sampling can be used to simulate from (1). Let M =
C B(, )B(, )/(1 ) , where C is given by (2). The following scheme can be used:
1. Generate independent beta random variables V and W with shape parameters (, ) and (, ), respectively.
2. Generate a uniform [0, 1] random variable U independently of (V, W ).
3. If U < C B(, )B(, )/{M(1 V W ) } accept (V, W ) as a
realization from (1).
3. If U C B(, )B(, )/{M(1 V W ) } return to step 1.
Note that there are standard routines for generating independent beta random
variables.

7. Application
Droughts are one of the normal and recurrent climatic phenomena on earth.
However, recurring prolonged droughts have caused farreaching and diverse
impacts because of water deficits. Here, we illustrate an application of (1)
to provide a simple and yet flexible model for the intensity and duration of
drought periods.
The physical need for such a model can be found in many areas of hydrology.
For example, Porporato et al. (2001) proposed a measure of vegetation
water stress for plants in watercontrolled ecosystems. Among other factors,
this measure was based on mean intensity and duration of drought periods (periods of soil water deficit). We refer the readers to the references in Porporato
et al. (2001) for other examples.
We use the drought data from the State of Nebraska. Nebraska is composed
of two major land regions: the Dissected Till Plains and the Great Plains.
The easternmost portion of the state was scoured by Ice Age glaciers; the
Dissected Till Plains were left behind after the glaciers retreated.
The Dissected Till Plains is a region of gently rolling hills.
The Great Plains occupy the majority of western Nebraska.
The Great Plains itself is comprised of several smaller, diverse land regions,
including the Sandhills, the Pine Ridge, the Rainwater Basin, the High Plains
and the Wildcat Hills.
The data comprises of the monthly modified Palmer Drought Severity Index
(PDSI) From the period from January 1895 to December 2004. A drought is
said to have happened when PDSI is below 0. Defined by the theory of runs

171

A new bivariate beta distribution with application to drought data

(Yevjevich, 1967), some statistics of the observed drought for the eight climatic
divisions of Nebraska are summarized in Table 1.
Table 1: Basic drought statistics for Nebraska PDSI data.
Climate division

No of droughts

Drought frequency
(number/year)

Mean drought
duration (months)

1
2
3
5
6
7
8
9

83
66
89
81
90
81
76
74

0.75
0.60
0.81
0.74
0.82
0.74
0.69
0.67

6.0
8.6
6.3
6.3
6.3
6.1
6.5
7.5

The State of Nebraska is divided into eight climate divisions numbered 1, 2,


3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9there is no climate division 4 for Nebraska.
Using the PDSI data, data on drought duration and drought intensity were
obtained for each climate division. The interest is in determining the relationship between drought intensity and drought duration which is important for
hydrologists. This was determined by fitting the model given by (1) to the
observed values of drought intensity and drought duration.
The observed values were transformed to the scale (0, 1) by first ranking
them in the ascending order and then dividing by (n+1), where n is the number
of observations. The fitting of (1) to the transformed values was performed by
the method of maximum likelihood by solving the equations given by (15)(18).
The estimates of the four parameters , , and are shown in Table 2.
Table 3 provides estimates of the correlation coefficient estimated using
equation (4).
Table 2: Parameter estimates of (1).
Climate division

1
2
3
5
6
7
8
9

1.407
1.482
1.304
1.523
1.507
1.322
1.445
1.608

1.526
1.544
1.401
1.540
1.613
1.373
1.516
1.720

4.413
4.700
4.045
4.529
4.691
4.007
4.398
4.908

0.920
0.932
0.887
0.933
0.933
0.999
0.919
0.962

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SARALAEES NADARAJAH

Table 3: Correlation coefficient.


Climate division

Correlation

1
2
3
5
6
7
8
9

0.377
0.393
0.337
0.394
0.394
0.604
0.375
0.448

The fitted contours of (1) for climate divisions 2 and 7 are shown in Figure 5.
The contours for the other climate divisions are similar, tending to look like
that for division 7 at their most extreme.
Climate Division 7

0.0

0.0

0.2

0.2

0.4

0.4

0.6

0.6

0.8

0.8

1.0

1.0

Climate Division 2

0.0

0.2

0.4 x

0.6

0.8

1.0

0.0

0.2

0.4 x 0.6

0.8

1.0

Figure 5. Fitted contours of the pdf (1) for drought data from climate division 2 (top) and climate division
7 (bottom) of Nebraska (X = scaled rank of drought intensity data, Y = scaled rank of drought
duration data).

It is evident from Figure 5 and Table 3 that there is little difference between
the climate divisions. This is what one would expect given the geography of
the State of Nebraska.
The goodness of fit of (1) for each climate division was tested by the
chisquared test with the resulting pvalue > 0.05.
We also fitted the competing bivariate beta distributions discussed in Section
1. The fit of the bivariate F2 distribution (which has the same number of
parameters as (1) and so the standard likelihood ratio test applies) was not

A new bivariate beta distribution with application to drought data

173

significantly better than (1). The fit of Nadarajah and Kotz (2005a)s bivariate
beta distribution (which has one less parameter than (1)) provided a significantly
poorer fit.
The same comment applies to Olkin and Liu (2003)s bivariate beta distribution.
It is interesting (1) provides as good a fit as (if not better than) others
despite being simpler and more tractable.

Acknowledgments
The author would like to thank the EditorinChief and the two referees for carefully reading
the paper and for their comments which greatly improved the paper.

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SARALEES NADARAJAH
School of Mathematics
University of Manchester
Manchester M60 1QD, UK
saralees.nadarajah@manchester.ac.uk