The LOESS procedure implements a nonparametric method for estimating regression surfaces pioneered by Cleveland, Devlin, and Grosse (1988), Cleveland and Grosse (1991), and Cleveland, Grosse, and Shyu (1992). The LOESS procedure allows great flexibility because no assumptions about the parametric form of the regression surface are needed.
The SAS System provides many regression procedures such as the GLM, REG, and NLIN procedures for situations in which you can specify a reasonable parametric model for the regression surface. You can use the LOESS procedure for situations in which you do not know a suitable parametric form of the regression surface. Furthermore, the LOESS procedure is suitable when there are outliers in the data and a robust fitting method is necessary.
The main features of the LOESS procedure are as follows:
fits nonparametric models
supports the use of multidimensional data
supports multiple dependent variables
supports both direct and interpolated fitting that uses kd trees
performs statistical inference
performs automatic smoothing parameter selection
performs iterative reweighting to provide robust fitting when there are outliers in the data
supports graphical displays produced through ODS Graphics