Semiparametric Regression Analysis of Doubly-censored Data with Applications to Incubation Period Estimation

Kin Yau Wong, Qingning Zhou, Tao Hu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The incubation period is a key characteristic of an infectious disease. In the outbreak of a novel infectious disease, accurate evaluation of the incubation period distribution is critical for designing effective prevention and control measures. Estimation of the incubation period distribution based on limited information from retrospective inspection of infected cases is highly challenging due to censoring and truncation. In this paper, we consider a semiparametric regression model for the incubation period and propose a sieve maximum likelihood approach for estimation based on the symptom onset time, travel history, and basic demographics of reported cases. The approach properly accounts for the pandemic growth and selection bias in data collection. We also develop an efficient computation method and establish the asymptotic properties of the proposed estimators. We demonstrate the feasibility and advantages of the proposed methods through extensive simulation studies and provide an application to a dataset on the outbreak of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-114
Number of pages28
JournalLifetime Data Analysis
Issue number1
Early online date13 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Cox proportional hazards model
  • Sieve estimation
  • Survival analysis
  • Truncated data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics


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