• asymptotic variance;
  • dimension reduction;
  • influence function;
  • robustness;
  • single index model;
  • sliced inverse regression

Abstract.  Sliced inverse regression (SIR) is a dimension reduction technique that is both efficient and simple to implement. The procedure itself relies heavily on estimates that are known to be highly non-robust and, as such, the issue of robustness is often raised. This paper looks at the robustness of SIR by deriving and plotting the influence function for a variety of contamination structures. The sample influence function is also considered and used to highlight that common outlier detection and deletion methods may not be entirely useful to SIR. The asymptotic variance of the estimates is also derived for the single index model when the explanatory variable is known to be normally distributed. The asymptotic variance is then compared for varying choices of the number of slices for a simple model example.