NAG Library Function Document
nag_wilcoxon_test (g08agc) performs the Wilcoxon signed rank test on a single sample of size .
||nag_wilcoxon_test (Integer n,
const double x,
The Wilcoxon one sample signed rank test may be used to test whether a particular sample came from a population with a specified median. It is assumed that the population distribution is symmetric. The data consist of a single sample of observations denoted by . This sample may arise from the difference between pairs of observations from two matched samples of equal size taken from two populations, in which case the test may be used to test whether the median of the first population is the same as that of the second population.
The hypothesis under test,
, often called the null hypothesis, is that the median is equal to some given value
, and this is to be tested against an alternative hypothesis
- : population median ; or
- : population median ; or
- : population median ,
using a two tailed, upper tailed or lower tailed probability respectively. You select the alternative hypothesis by choosing the appropriate tail probability to be computed (see the description of argument tail
in Section 5
The Wilcoxon test differs from the Sign test (see nag_sign_test (g08aac)
) in that the magnitude of the scores is taken into account, rather than simply the direction of such scores.
The test procedure is as follows:
||For each , for , the signed difference is found, where is a given test value for the median of the sample.
||The absolute differences are ranked with rank and any tied values of are assigned the average of the tied ranks. You may choose whether or not to ignore any cases where by removing them before or after ranking (see the description of the argument zeros in Section 5).
||The number of nonzero 's is found.
||To each rank is affixed the sign of the to which it corresponds. Let .
||The sum of the positive-signed ranks, , is calculated.
nag_wilcoxon_test (g08agc) returns:
||The test statistic ;
||The number of nonzero 's;
||The approximate Normal test statistic , where
||The tail probability, , corresponding to , depending on the choice of the alternative hypothesis, .
If , is computed exactly; otherwise, an approximation to is returned based on an approximate Normal statistic corrected for continuity according to the tail specified.
The value of can be used to perform a significance test on the median against the alternative hypothesis. Let be the size of the significance test (that is, is the probability of rejecting when is true). If then the null hypothesis is rejected. Typically might be 0.05 or 0.01.
Conover W J (1980) Practical Nonparametric Statistics Wiley
Neumann N (1988) Some procedures for calculating the distributions of elementary nonparametric teststatistics Statistical Software Newsletter 14(3) 120–126
Siegel S (1956) Non-parametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences McGraw–Hill
n – IntegerInput
On entry: the size of the sample, .
x[n] – const doubleInput
On entry: the sample observations, .
median – doubleInput
On entry: the median test value, .
tail – Nag_TailProbabilityInput
: indicates the choice of tail probability, and hence the alternative hypothesis.
- A two tailed probability is calculated and the alternative hypothesis is : population median .
- An upper tailed probability is calculated and the alternative hypothesis is : population median .
- A lower tailed probability is calculated and the alternative hypothesis is : population median .
, or .
zeros – Nag_IncSignZerosInput
: indicates whether or not to include the cases where
in the ranking of the
- All are included when ranking.
- All , are ignored, that is all cases where are removed before ranking.
w – double *Output
On exit: the Wilcoxon rank sum statistic, , being the sum of the positive ranks.
z – double *Output
: the approximate Normal test statistic,
, as described in Section 3
p – double *Output
: the tail probability,
, as specified by the argument tail
non_zero – Integer *Output
On exit: the number of nonzero 's, .
fail – NagError *Input/Output
The NAG error argument (see Section 3.6
in the Essential Introduction).
6 Error Indicators and Warnings
Dynamic memory allocation failed.
On entry, argument tail
had an illegal value.
On entry, argument zeros
had an illegal value.
The whole sample is identical to the given median test value.
On entry, .
An internal error has occurred in this function. Check the function call and any array sizes. If the call is correct then please contact NAG
The approximation used to calculate when will return a value with a relative error of less than 10 percent for most cases. The error may increase for cases where there are a large number of ties in the sample.
The time taken by nag_wilcoxon_test (g08agc) increases with , until , from which point on the approximation is used. The time decreases significantly at this point and increases again modestly with for .
The example program performs the Wilcoxon signed rank test on two matched samples of size 8, taken from two populations. The distribution of the differences between pairs of observations from the two populations is assumed to be symmetric. The test is used to test whether the medians of the two distributions of the populations are equal or not. The test statistic, the approximate Normal statistic and the two tailed probability are computed and printed.
9.1 Program Text
Program Text (g08agce.c)
9.2 Program Data
Program Data (g08agce.d)
9.3 Program Results
Program Results (g08agce.r)