DINA-BAG: A Bagging Algorithm for DINA Model Parameter Estimation in Small Samples

David Arthur, Hua Hua Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cognitive diagnosis models (CDMs) are the assessment tools that provide valuable formative feedback about skill mastery at both the individual and population level. Recent work has explored the performance of CDMs with small sample sizes but has focused solely on the estimates of individual profiles. The current research focuses on obtaining accurate estimates of skill mastery at the population level. We introduce a novel algorithm (bagging algorithm for deterministic inputs noisy “and” gate) that is inspired by ensemble learning methods in the machine learning literature and produces more stable and accurate estimates of the population skill mastery profile distribution for small sample sizes. Using both simulated data and real data from the Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English, we demonstrate that the proposed method outperforms other methods on several metrics in a wide variety of scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-367
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • DINA
  • cognitive diagnosis
  • ensemble learning
  • small sample

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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