How do I run a multinomial logit model with XLSTAT?

The multinomial logit model is a generalization of the logit model when the response variable has more than two categories. This method is very useful when one wants to understand or to predict the effect of a series of variables on an unordered qualitative response variable (a variable which can take lore than two values). Multinomial logit model can be helpful to model the effect of some descriptive variables on the choice of a brand in a market with more than two brands. All results are given relatively to a reference category.

With XLSTAT you can run the multinomial on raw data. The dialog box associated to the multinomial logit model is the same as for the logistic regression.

The methodology of multinomial logit model aims at modeling the probability of associated to each category depending on the values of the explanatory variables, which can be categorical or numerical variables. The example treated here is a marketing case where we want to detect if customers are likely to choose one of three brands depending on their age and sex. An Excel sheet with both the data and the results can be downloaded by clicking here. The data show a sample of 750. The reference category is brand 1. Our goal is to understand if customers are more likely to choose brand 2 or 3 then brand 1 depending on their age and sex.

To activate the Multinomial Logit Model dialog box, start XLSTAT, then select the XLSTAT/Modeling data/Models for binary response data command, or click on the logistic regression button of the "Modeling Data" toolbar (see below).


When you click on the button, the Logistic regression dialog box appears. To activate the multinomial logit model, change the response type and choose “multinomial”. A new box appears where you can choose the control or reference category (in our case we choose a1=0 for the first category).


Select the data on the Excel sheet. The "Response" corresponds to the column where the variable to be explained is stored. In this particular case we have two quantitative explanatory variables. As we selected the column titles of all variables, we have selected the option "Column labels included".


Many options are available on the dialog box; please consult the XLSTAT help for more details.
The computations begin once you have clicked on the "OK" button.

Interpret the results of a multinomial logit model

The following table gives several indicators of the quality of the model (or goodness of fit). These results are equivalent to the R2 and to the analysis of variance table in linear regression and ANOVA. The most important value to look at is the probability of Chi-square test on the log ratio. This is equivalent to the Fisher's F test: we try to evaluate if the variables bring significant information by comparing the model as it is defined with a simpler model with only one constant. In this case, as the probability is lower than 0.0001, we can conclude that significant information is brought by the variables.


The next table gives details on the model. This table is helpful in understanding the effect of the various variables on the categories of the response variable. It is quite different from the logistic regression table. Parameters are obtained for each variable and for each category of the response variable (except the reference category). Odds ratios are also available for a better understanding of the results.


Parameters interpretation is not immediate. The model equation for modality 2 is:


For example, we can say that for one unit change in the variable AGE, the log of the ratio of the two probabilities, P(Response=2)/P(Response=1), will be increased by 0.368. Therefore, we can say that, in general, the older a person is, the more he will prefer brand 2. The ratio of the probability of choosing one outcome category over the probability of choosing the reference category is often referred as odds ratios (and it is also sometimes referred as relative risks). So another way of interpreting the regression results is in terms of odds ratios. We can say that for one unit change in the variable AGE, we expect the relative risk of choosing brand 2 over 1 to increase by 1.445.
We can see from looking at the probability of the Chi-squares that the variable most influencing the response variable for both category 2 and 3 is the age of the customer. The intercepts are significant.
The marketing experts should focus on older people if they want to increase the market share of the brand 1.

Other results are available and can complete the preceding analysis.

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About KCS

Kovach Computing Services (KCS) was founded in 1993 by Dr. Warren Kovach. The company specializes in the development and marketing of inexpensive and easy-to-use statistical software for scientists, as well as in data analysis consulting.

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