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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article considers some classical and more modern results obtained in random matrix theory (RMT) for applications in statistics. In the classic paradigm of parametric statistics, data are generated randomly according to a probability distribution indexed by parameters. From this data, which is by nature random, the properties of the deterministic (and unknown) parameters may be inferred. The ability to infer properties of the unknown Σ (the population covariance matrix) will depend on the quality of the estimator. The article first provides an overview of two spectral statistical techniques, principal components analysis (PCA) and canonical correlation analysis (CCA), before discussing the Wishart distribution and normal theory. It then describes extreme eigenvalues and Tracy–Widom laws, taking into account the results obtained in the asymptotic setting of ‘large p, large n’. It also analyses the results for the limiting spectra of sample covariance matrices..

Keywords: random matrix theory (RMT), statistics, principal components analysis (PCA), canonical correlation analysis (CCA), Wishart distribution, normal theory, extreme eigenvalue, Tracy–Widom law, covariance

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