In reliability, failure data often correspond to competing risks, where several failure modes can cause a unit to fail. This paper presents nonparametric predictive inference (NPI) for pairwise comparison with competing risks data, assuming that the failure modes are independent. These failure modes could be the same or different among the two groups, and these can be both observed and unobserved failure modes. NPI is a statistical approach based on few assumptions, with inferences strongly based on data and with uncertainty quantified via lower and upper probabilities. The focus is on the lower and upper probabilities for the event that the lifetime of a future unit from one group, say Y, is greater than the lifetime of a future unit from the second group, say X. The paper also shows how the two groups can be compared based on particular failure mode(s), and the comparison of the two groups when some of the competing risks are combined is discussed.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.