Regression : when a nonparametric approach is most fitting
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This paper aims to demonstrate the benefits of adopting a nonparametric regression approach when the standard regression model is not appropriate; it also provides an overview of circumstances where a nonparametric approach might not only be beneficial, but necessary. It begins with a historical background on regression, leading into a broad discussion of the standard linear regression model assumptions. Following are particular methods to handle assumption violations which include nonlinear transformations, nonlinear parametric model fitting, and, finally, nonparametric methods. The software package, R, is used to illustrate examples of nonparametric regression techniques for continuous variables and a brief overview is given of procedures to handle nonparametric regression models that include categorical variables.