The computation of the renewal function when the distribution function is completely known has received much attention in the literature. However, in many cases the form of the distribution function is unknown and has to be estimated nonparametrically. A nonparametric estimator for the renewal function for complete data was suggested by Frees (1986). In many cases, however, censoring of the lifetime might occur. We shall present parametric and nonparametric estimators of the renewal function based on censored data. In a simulation study we compare the nonparametric estimators with parametric estimators for the Weibull and lognormal distribution. The study suggests that the nonparametric estimator is a viable alternative to the parametric estimators when the lifetime distribution is unknown. Also, the nonparametric estimator is computationally simpler than the parametric estimator.
Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation, 42, 125-135