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We propose a Bayesian nonparametric model to infer population admixture, extending the hierarchical Dirichlet process to allow for correlation between loci due to linkage disequilibrium. Given multilocus genotype data from a sample of individuals, the proposed model allows inferring and classifying individuals as unadmixed or admixed, inferring the number of subpopulations ancestral to an admixed population and the population of origin of chromosomal regions. Our model does not assume any specific mutation process, and can be applied to most of the commonly used genetic markers. We present a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm to perform posterior inference from the model and we discuss some methods to summarize the MCMC output for the analysis of population admixture. Finally, we demonstrate the performance of the proposed model in a real application, using genetic data from the ectodysplasin-A receptor (EDAR) gene, which is considered to be ancestry-informative due to well-known variations in allele frequency as well as phenotypic effects across ancestry. The structure analysis of this dataset leads to the identification of a rare haplotype in Europeans. We also conduct a simulated experiment and show that our algorithm outperforms parametric methods.
We propose a Bayesian approach to obtain a sparse representation of the effect of a categorical predictor in regression type models. As this effect is captured by a group of level effects, sparsity cannot only be achieved by excluding single irrelevant level effects or the whole group of effects associated to this predictor but also by fusing levels which have essentially the same effect on the response. To achieve this goal, we propose a prior which allows for almost perfect as well as almost zero dependence between level effects a priori. This prior can alternatively be obtained by specifying spike and slab prior distributions on all effect differences associated to this categorical predictor. We show how restricted fusion can be implemented and develop an efficient MCMC (Markov chain Monte Carlo) method for posterior computation. The performance of the proposed method is investigated on simulated data and we illustrate its application on real data from EU-SILC (European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions).
We build on recent work concerning message passing approaches to approximate fitting and inference for arbitrarily large regression models. The focus is on regression models where the response variable is modeled to have an elaborate distribution, which is loosely defined to mean a distribution that is more complicated than common distributions such as those in the Bernoulli, Poisson and Normal families. Examples of elaborate response families considered here are the Negative Binomial and families. Variational message passing is more challenging due to some of the conjugate exponential families being non-standard and numerical integration being needed. Nevertheless, a factor graph fragment approach means the requisite calculations only need to be done once for a particular elaborate response distribution family. Computer code can be compartmentalized, including that involving numerical integration. A major finding of this work is that the modularity of variational message passing extends to elaborate response regression models.
Bayesian approaches to phase II clinical trial designs are usually based on the posterior distribution of the parameter of interest and calibration of certain threshold for decision making. If the posterior probability is computed and assessed in a sequential manner, the design may involve the problem of multiplicity, which, however, is often a neglected aspect in Bayesian trial designs. To effectively maintain the overall type I error rate, we propose solutions to the problem of multiplicity for Bayesian sequential designs and, in particular, the determination of the cutoff boundaries for the posterior probabilities. We present both theoretical and numerical methods for finding the optimal posterior probability boundaries with -spending functions that mimic those of the frequentist group sequential designs. The theoretical approach is based on the asymptotic properties of the posterior probability, which establishes a connection between the Bayesian trial design and the frequentist group sequential method. The numerical approach uses a sandwich-type searching algorithm, which immensely reduces the computational burden. We apply least-square fitting to find the -spending function closest to the target. We discuss the application of our method to single-arm and double-arm cases with binary and normal endpoints, respectively, and provide a real trial example for each case.
This work presents a Bayesian predictive approach to statistical shape analysis. A modeling strategy that starts with a Gaussian distribution on the configuration space, and then removes the effects of location, rotation and scale, is studied. This boils down to an application of the projected normal distribution to model the configurations in the shape space, which together with certain identifiability constraints, facilitates parameter interpretation. Having better control over the parameters allows us to generalize the model to a regression setting where the effect of predictors on shapes can be considered. The methodology is illustrated and tested using both simulated scenarios and a real data set concerning eight anatomical landmarks on a sagittal plane of the corpus callosum in patients with autism and in a group of controls.
There has been an intense development in the Bayesian graphical model literature over the past decade; however, most of the existing methods are restricted to moderate dimensions. We propose a novel graphical model selection approach for large dimensional settings where the dimension increases with the sample size, by decoupling model fitting and covariance selection. First, a full model based on a complete graph is fit under a novel class of mixtures of inverse–Wishart priors, which induce shrinkage on the precision matrix under an equivalence with Cholesky-based regularization, while enabling conjugate updates. Subsequently, a post-fitting model selection step uses penalized joint credible regions to perform model selection. This allows our methods to be computationally feasible for large dimensional settings using a combination of straightforward Gibbs samplers and efficient post-fitting inferences. Theoretical guarantees in terms of selection consistency are also established. Simulations show that the proposed approach compares favorably with competing methods, both in terms of accuracy metrics and computation times. We apply this approach to a cancer genomics data example.
Mixture models are a natural choice in many applications, but it can be difficult to place an a priori upper bound on the number of components. To circumvent this, investigators are turning increasingly to Dirichlet process mixture models (DPMMs). It is therefore important to develop an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of this approach. This work considers the MAP (maximum a posteriori) clustering for the Gaussian DPMM (where the cluster means have Gaussian distribution and, for each cluster, the observations within the cluster have Gaussian distribution). Some desirable properties of the MAP partition are proved: ‘almost disjointness’ of the convex hulls of clusters (they may have at most one point in common) and (with natural assumptions) the comparability of sizes of those clusters that intersect any fixed ball with the number of observations (as the latter goes to infinity). Consequently, the number of such clusters remains bounded. Furthermore, if the data arises from independent identically distributed sampling from a given distribution with bounded support then the asymptotic MAP partition of the observation space maximises a function which has a straightforward expression, which depends only on the within-group covariance parameter. As the operator norm of this covariance parameter decreases, the number of clusters in the MAP partition becomes arbitrarily large, which may lead to the overestimation of the number of mixture components.
Randomized experiments are the gold standard for evaluating the effects of changes to real-world systems. Data in these tests may be difficult to collect and outcomes may have high variance, resulting in potentially large measurement error. Bayesian optimization is a promising technique for efficiently optimizing multiple continuous parameters, but existing approaches degrade in performance when the noise level is high, limiting its applicability to many randomized experiments. We derive an expression for expected improvement under greedy batch optimization with noisy observations and noisy constraints, and develop a quasi-Monte Carlo approximation that allows it to be efficiently optimized. Simulations with synthetic functions show that optimization performance on noisy, constrained problems outperforms existing methods. We further demonstrate the effectiveness of the method with two real-world experiments conducted at Facebook: optimizing a ranking system, and optimizing server compiler flags.
The intraclass correlation plays a central role in modeling hierarchically structured data, such as educational data, panel data, or group-randomized trial data. It represents relevant information concerning the between-group and within-group variation. Methods for Bayesian hypothesis tests concerning the intraclass correlation are proposed to improve decision making in hierarchical data analysis and to assess the grouping effect across different group categories. Estimation and testing methods for the intraclass correlation coefficient are proposed under a marginal modeling framework where the random effects are integrated out. A class of stretched beta priors is proposed on the intraclass correlations, which is equivalent to shifted priors for the between groups variances. Through a parameter expansion it is shown that this prior is conditionally conjugate under the marginal model yielding efficient posterior computation. A special improper case results in accurate coverage rates of the credible intervals even for minimal sample size and when the true intraclass correlation equals zero. Bayes factor tests are proposed for testing multiple precise and order hypotheses on intraclass correlations. These tests can be used when prior information about the intraclass correlations is available or absent. For the noninformative case, a generalized fractional Bayes approach is developed. The method enables testing the presence and strength of grouped data structures without introducing random effects. The methodology is applied to a large-scale survey study on international mathematics achievement at fourth grade to test the heterogeneity in the clustering of students in schools across countries and assessment cycles.
In many applications, investigators monitor processes that vary in space and time, with the goal of identifying temporally persistent and spatially localized departures from a baseline or “normal” behavior. In this manuscript, we consider the monitoring of pneumonia and influenza (P&I) mortality, to detect influenza outbreaks in the continental United States, and propose a Bayesian nonparametric model selection approach to take into account the spatio-temporal dependence of outbreaks. More specifically, we introduce a zero-inflated conditionally identically distributed species sampling prior which allows borrowing information across time and to assign data to clusters associated to either a null or an alternate process. Spatial dependences are accounted for by means of a Markov random field prior, which allows to inform the selection based on inferences conducted at nearby locations. We show how the proposed modeling framework performs in an application to the P&I mortality data and in a simulation study, and compare with common threshold methods for detecting outbreaks over time, with more recent Markov switching based models, and with spike-and-slab Bayesian nonparametric priors that do not take into account spatio-temporal dependence.
Bayesian variable selection regression (BVSR) is able to jointly analyze genome-wide genetic datasets, but the slow computation via Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) hampered its wide-spread usage. Here we present a novel iterative method to solve a special class of linear systems, which can increase the speed of the BVSR model-fitting tenfold. The iterative method hinges on the complex factorization of the sum of two matrices and the solution path resides in the complex domain (instead of the real domain). Compared to the Gauss-Seidel method, the complex factorization converges almost instantaneously and its error is several magnitude smaller than that of the Gauss-Seidel method. More importantly, the error is always within the pre-specified precision while the Gauss-Seidel method is not. For large problems with thousands of covariates, the complex factorization is 10–100 times faster than either the Gauss-Seidel method or the direct method via the Cholesky decomposition. In BVSR, one needs to repetitively solve large penalized regression systems whose design matrices only change slightly between adjacent MCMC steps. This slight change in design matrix enables the adaptation of the iterative complex factorization method. The computational innovation will facilitate the wide-spread use of BVSR in reanalyzing genome-wide association datasets.
Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) is a method for Bayesian inference when the likelihood is unavailable but simulating from the model is possible. However, many ABC algorithms require a large number of simulations, which can be costly. To reduce the computational cost, Bayesian optimisation (BO) and surrogate models such as Gaussian processes have been proposed. Bayesian optimisation enables one to intelligently decide where to evaluate the model next but common BO strategies are not designed for the goal of estimating the posterior distribution. Our paper addresses this gap in the literature. We propose to compute the uncertainty in the ABC posterior density, which is due to a lack of simulations to estimate this quantity accurately, and define a loss function that measures this uncertainty. We then propose to select the next evaluation location to minimise the expected loss. Experiments show that the proposed method often produces the most accurate approximations as compared to common BO strategies.
Spatial confounding between the spatial random effects and fixed effects covariates has been recently discovered and showed that it may bring misleading interpretation to the model results. Techniques to alleviate this problem are based on decomposing the spatial random effect and fitting a restricted spatial regression. In this paper, we propose a different approach: a transformation of the geographic space to ensure that the unobserved spatial random effect added to the regression is orthogonal to the fixed effects covariates. Our approach, named SPOCK, has the additional benefit of providing a fast and simple computational method to estimate the parameters. Also, it does not constrain the distribution class assumed for the spatial error term. A simulation study and real data analyses are presented to better understand the advantages of the new method in comparison with the existing ones.
We propose a Bayesian nonparametric strategy to test for differences between a control group and several treatment regimes. Most of the existing tests for this type of comparison are based on the differences between location parameters. In contrast, our approach identifies differences across the entire distribution, avoids strong modeling assumptions over the distributions for each treatment, and accounts for multiple testing through the prior distribution on the space of hypotheses. The proposal is compared to other commonly used hypothesis testing procedures under simulated scenarios. Two real applications are also analyzed with the proposed methodology.