Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Nonparametric Bootstrap Recycling

Publication Date

April, 1998

Publication Type

Tech Report


Valérie Ventura


The double bootstrap provides diagnostics for bootstrap calculations and, if need be, appropriate adjustments. The amount of computation involved is usually considerable, and recycling provides a less computer intensive alternative. Recycling consists of using repeatedly the same samples drawn from a recycling distribution G for estimation under each first-level bootstrap distribution, rather than independently repeating the simulation and estimation steps for each of these.

Recycling is successful in parametric applications of the bootstrap, as demonstrated by Newton and Geyer (1994). We show that it is bound to fail in nonparametric bootstrap applications, and suggest a modification that makes the method work. The modification consists in smoothing the first-level bootstrap distributions, with the desired consequence that this removes the zero probabilities in the multinomial distributions that define them. We also discuss efficient choices of recycling distributions, both in terms of estimator efficiency and simulation efficiency.

(Revised 12/00)