A Kernel Log-Rank Test of Independence for Right-Censored Data

Tamara Fernández, Arthur Gretton, David Rindt, Dino Sejdinovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We introduce a general nonparametric independence test between right-censored survival times and covariates, which may be multivariate. Our test statistic has a dual interpretation, first in terms of the supremum of a potentially infinite collection of weight-indexed log-rank tests, with weight functions belonging to a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS) of functions; and second, as the norm of the difference of embeddings of certain finite measures into the RKHS, similar to the Hilbert–Schmidt Independence Criterion (HSIC) test-statistic. We study the asymptotic properties of the test, finding sufficient conditions to ensure our test correctly rejects the null hypothesis under any alternative. The test statistic can be computed straightforwardly, and the rejection threshold is obtained via an asymptotically consistent Wild Bootstrap procedure. Extensive investigations on both simulated and real data suggest that our testing procedure generally performs better than competing approaches in detecting complex nonlinear dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-936
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Statistical Association
Issue number542
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Hilbert space
  • Independence testing
  • Log-rank test
  • Reproducing kernel
  • Right-censoring


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