Generalized additive modeling

Martijn Wieling
University of Groningen

This lecture

  • Introduction
    • Generalized additive modeling
    • Articulography
    • Using articulography to study L2 pronunciation differences
  • Design
  • Methods: R code
  • Results
  • Discussion

Generalized additive modeling (1)

  • Generalized additive model (GAM): relaxing assumption of linear relation between dependent variable and predictor
  • Relationship between individual predictors and (possibly transformed) dependent variable is estimated by a non-linear smooth function: \(g(y) = s(x_1) +s(x_2,x_3) + \beta_4x_4 + ...\)
    • Multiple predictors can be combined in a (hyper)surface smooth (other lecture) plot of chunk unnamed-chunk-1

Question 1

Generalized additive modeling (2)

  • Advantage of GAM over manual specification of non-linearities: the optimal shape of the non-linearity is determined automatically
  • Appropriate degree of smoothness is automatically determined by minimizing combined error and "wigglyness" (no overfitting)
  • Maximum number of basis functions limits the maximum amount of non-linearity

First ten basis functions

plot of chunk unnamed-chunk-2

Generalized additive modeling (3)

  • Choosing a smoothing basis
    • Single predictor or isotropic predictors: thin plate regression spline (this lecture)
      • Efficient approximation of the optimal (thin plate) spline
    • Combining non-isotropic predictors: tensor product spline
  • Generalized Additive Mixed Modeling:
    • Random effects can be treated as smooths as well (Wood, 2008)
    • R: gam and bam (package mgcv)
  • For more (mathematical) details, see Wood (2006) and Wood (2017)


Obtaining data

Recorded data

Present study: goal and setup

  • 19 native Dutch speakers from Groningen
  • 22 native Standard Southern British English speakers from London
  • Material: 10 minimal pairs [t]:[θ] repeated twice:
    • 'tent'-'tenth', 'fate'-'faith', 'forth'-'fort', 'kit'-'kith', 'mitt'-'myth'
    • 'tank'-'thank', 'team'-'theme', 'tick'-'thick', 'ties'-'thighs', 'tongs'-'thongs'
    • Note that the sound [θ] does not exist in the Dutch language
  • Goal: compare distinction between this sound contrast for both groups
  • Preprocessing:
    • Articulatory segmentation: gestural onset to offset (within /ə/ context)
    • Positions \(z\)-transformed per axis and time normalized (from 0 to 1) per speaker

Data: much individual variation and noisy data