The aim of this paper is to derive diagnostic procedures based on case-deletion model for symmetrical nonlinear regression models, which complements Galea etÂ al. (2005) that developed local influence diagnostics under some perturbation schemes. This class of models includes all symmetric continuous distributions for errors covering both light- and heavy-tailed distributions such as Student-t, logistic-I and -II, power exponential, generalized Student-t, generalized logistic and contaminated normal, among others. Thus, these models can be checked for robustness to outliers in the response variable and diagnostic methods may be a useful tool for an appropriate choice. First, an iterative process for the parameter estimation as well as some inferential results are presented. Besides, we present the results of a simulation study in which the characteristics of heavy-tailed models are evaluated in the presence of outliers. Then, we derive some diagnostic measures such as Cook distance, W-K statistic, one-step approach and likelihood displacement, generalizing results obtained for normal nonlinear regression models. Also, we present simulation studies that illustrate the behavior of diagnostic measures proposed. Finally, we consider two real data sets previously analyzed under normal nonlinear regression models. The diagnostic analysis indicates that a Student-t nonlinear regression model seems to fit the data better than the normal nonlinear regression model as well as other symmetrical nonlinear models in the sense of robustness against extreme observations.
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