Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Dr Yichuan Zhao - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr Gengsheng (Jeff) Qin

Third Advisor

Dr Xu Zhang

Fourth Advisor

Dr Yu-Shen Hsu


The mean residual life (MRL) function is an important function in survival analysis, actuarial science, economics and other social sciences and reliability for characterizing lifetime. Different methods have been proposed for doing inference on the MRL but their coverage probabilities for small sample sizes are not good enough. In this thesis we apply the empirical likelihood method and carry out a simulation study of the MRL function using different statistical distributions. The simulation study does a comparison of the empirical likelihood method and the normal approximation method. The comparisons are based on the average lengths of confidence intervals and coverage probabilities. We also did comparisons based on median lengths of confidence intervals for the MRL. We found that the empirical likelihood method gives better coverage probability and shorter confidence intervals than the normal approximation method for almost all the distributions that we considered. Applying the two methods to real data we also found that the empirical likelihood method gives thinner pointwise confidence bands.