Likelihood-based inference for censored linear regression models with scale mixtures of skew-normal distributions

In many studies, the data collected are subject to some upper and lower detection limits. Hence, the responses are either left or right censored. A complication arises when these continuous measures present heavy tails and asymmetrical behavior; simultaneously. For such data structures, we propose a robust-censored linear model based on the scale mixtures of skew-normal (SMSN) distributions. The SMSN is an attractive class of asymmetrical heavy-tailed densities that includes the skew-normal, skew-t, skew-slash, skew-contaminated normal and the entire family of scale mixtures of normal (SMN) distributions as special cases. We propose a fast estimation procedure to obtain the maximum likelihood (ML) estimates of the parameters, using a stochastic approximation of the EM (SAEM) algorithm. This approach allows us to estimate the parameters of interest easily and quickly, obtaining as a byproducts the standard errors, predictions of unobservable values of the response and the log-likelihood function. The proposed methods are illustrated through real data applications and several simulation studies.