Despite the widespread popularity of linear models for correlated outcomes (e.g. linear mixed modesl and time series models), distribution diagnostic methodology remains relatively underdeveloped in this context. In this paper we present an easy-to-implement approach that lends itself to graphical displays of model fit. Our approach involves multiplying the estimated marginal residual vector by the Cholesky decomposition of the inverse of the estimated marginal variance matrix. Linear functions or the resulting "rotated" residuals are used to construct an empirical cumulative distribution function (ECDF), whose stochastic limit is characterized. We describe a resampling technique that serves as a computationally efficient parametric bootstrap for generating representatives of the stochastic limit of the ECDF. Through functionals, such representatives are used to construct global tests for the hypothesis of normal margional errors. In addition, we demonstrate that the ECDF of the predicted random effects, as described by Lange and Ryan (1989), can be formulated as a special case of our approach. Thus, our method supports both omnibus and directed tests. Our method works well in a variety of circumstances, including models having independent units of sampling (clustered data) and models for which all observations are correlated (e.g., a single time series).
Houseman, E. Andres; Coull, Brent; and Ryan, Louise, "A Functional-Based Distribution Diagnostic for a Linear Model with Correlated Outcomes: Technical Report" (October 2004). Harvard University Biostatistics Working Paper Series. Working Paper 18.