Under normality, Flury and Schmid [Quadratic discriminant functions with constraints on the covariances matrices: some asymptotic results, J. Multivariate Anal. 40 (1992) 244–261] investigated the asymptotic properties of the quadratic discrimination procedure under hierarchical models for the scatter matrices, that is: (i) arbitrary scatter matrices, (ii) common principal components, (iii) proportional scatter matrices and (iv) identical matrices. In this paper, we study the properties of robust quadratic discrimination rules based on robust estimates of the involved parameters. Our analysis is based on the partial influence functions of the functionals related to these parameters and allows to derive the asymptotic variances of the estimated coefficients under models (i)–(iv). From them, we conclude that the asymptotic variances verify the same order relations as those obtained by Flury and Schmid [Quadratic discriminant functions with constraints on the covariances matrices: some asymptotic results, J. Multivariate Anal. 40 (1992) 244–261] for the classical estimators. We also perform a Monte Carlo study for different sample sizes and different hierarchies which shows the advantage of using robust procedures over classical ones, when anomalous data are present. It also confirms that better rates of misclassification can be achieved if a more parsimonious model among all the correct ones is used instead of the standard quadratic discrimination.

CEMAT - Center for Computational and Stochastic Mathematics