Solving the Empirical Bayes Normal Means Problem with Correlated Noise Machine Learning

The Normal Means problem plays a fundamental role in many areas of modern high-dimensional statistics, both in theory and practice. And the Empirical Bayes (EB) approach to solving this problem has been shown to be highly effective, again both in theory and practice. However, almost all EB treatments of the Normal Means problem assume that the observations are independent. In practice correlations are ubiquitous in real-world applications, and these correlations can grossly distort EB estimates. Here, exploiting theory from Schwartzman (2010), we develop new EB methods for solving the Normal Means problem that take account of unknown correlations among observations. We provide practical software implementations of these methods, and illustrate them in the context of large-scale multiple testing problems and False Discovery Rate (FDR) control. In realistic numerical experiments our methods compare favorably with other commonly-used multiple testing methods.

Bayesian Inference of Spreading Processes on Networks Machine Learning

Infectious diseases are studied to understand their spreading mechanisms, to evaluate control strategies and to predict the risk and course of future outbreaks. Because people only interact with a small number of individuals, and because the structure of these interactions matters for spreading processes, the pairwise relationships between individuals in a population can be usefully represented by a network. Although the underlying processes of transmission are different, the network approach can be used to study the spread of pathogens in a contact network or the spread of rumors in an online social network. We study simulated simple and complex epidemics on synthetic networks and on two empirical networks, a social / contact network in an Indian village and an online social network in the U.S. Our goal is to learn simultaneously about the spreading process parameters and the source node (first infected node) of the epidemic, given a fixed and known network structure, and observations about state of nodes at several points in time. Our inference scheme is based on approximate Bayesian computation (ABC), an inference technique for complex models with likelihood functions that are either expensive to evaluate or analytically intractable. ABC enables us to adopt a Bayesian approach to the problem despite the posterior distribution being very complex. Our method is agnostic about the topology of the network and the nature of the spreading process. It generally performs well and, somewhat counter-intuitively, the inference problem appears to be easier on more heterogeneous network topologies, which enhances its future applicability to real-world settings where few networks have homogeneous topologies.

Click click snap: One look at patient's face, and AI can identify rare genetic diseases


WASHINGTON D.C. [USA]: According to a recent study, a new artificial intelligence technology can accurately identify rare genetic disorders using a photograph of a patient's face. Named DeepGestalt, the AI technology outperformed clinicians in identifying a range of syndromes in three trials and could add value in personalised care, CNN reported. The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine. According to the study, eight per cent of the population has disease with key genetic components and many may have recognisable facial features. The study further adds that the technology could identify, for example, Angelman syndrome, a disorder affecting the nervous system with characteristic features such as a wide mouth with widely spaced teeth etc. Speaking about it, Yaron Gurovich, the chief technology officer at FDNA and lead researcher of the study said, "It demonstrates how one can successfully apply state of the art algorithms, such as deep learning, to a challenging field where the available data is small, unbalanced in terms of available patients per condition, and where the need to support a large amount of conditions is great."

Predicting Individual Responses to Vasoactive Medications in Children with Septic Shock Machine Learning

Objective: Predict individual septic children's personalized physiologic responses to vasoactive titrations by training a Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) using EMR data. Materials and Methods: This study retrospectively analyzed EMR of patients admitted to a pediatric ICU from 2009 to 2017. Data included charted time series vitals, labs, drugs, and interventions of children with septic shock treated with dopamine, epinephrine, or norepinephrine. A RNN was trained to predict responses in heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) to 8,640 titrations during 652 septic episodes and evaluated on a holdout set of 3,883 titrations during 254 episodes. A linear regression model using titration data as its sole input was also developed and compared to the RNN model. Evaluation methods included the correlation coefficient between actual physiologic responses and RNN predictions, mean absolute error (MAE), and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Results: The actual physiologic responses displayed significant variability and were more accurately predicted by the RNN model than by titration alone (r=0.20 vs r=0.05, p<0.01). The RNN showed MAE and AUC improvements over the linear model. The RNN's MAEs associated with dopamine and epinephrine were 1-3% lower than the linear regression model MAE for HR, SBP, DBP, and MAP. Across all vitals vasoactives, the RNN achieved 1-19% AUC improvement over the linear model. Conclusion: This initial attempt in pediatric critical care to predict individual physiologic responses to vasoactive dose changes in children with septic shock demonstrated an RNN model showed some improvement over a linear model. While not yet clinically applicable, further development may assist clinical administration of vasoactive medications in children with septic shock.

Disease Progression Timeline Estimation for Alzheimer's Disease using Discriminative Event Based Modeling Machine Learning

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is characterized by a cascade of biomarkers becoming abnormal, the pathophysiology of which is very complex and largely unknown. Event-based modeling (EBM) is a data-driven technique to estimate the sequence in which biomarkers for a disease become abnormal based on cross-sectional data. It can help in understanding the dynamics of disease progression and facilitate early diagnosis and prognosis. In this work we propose a novel discriminative approach to EBM, which is shown to be more accurate than existing state-of-the-art EBM methods. The method first estimates for each subject an approximate ordering of events. Subsequently, the central ordering over all subjects is estimated by fitting a generalized Mallows model to these approximate subject-specific orderings. We also introduce the concept of relative distance between events which helps in creating a disease progression timeline. Subsequently, we propose a method to stage subjects by placing them on the estimated disease progression timeline. We evaluated the proposed method on Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) data and compared the results with existing state-of-the-art EBM methods. We also performed extensive experiments on synthetic data simulating the progression of Alzheimer's disease. The event orderings obtained on ADNI data seem plausible and are in agreement with the current understanding of progression of AD. The proposed patient staging algorithm performed consistently better than that of state-of-the-art EBM methods. Event orderings obtained in simulation experiments were more accurate than those of other EBM methods and the estimated disease progression timeline was observed to correlate with the timeline of actual disease progression. The results of these experiments are encouraging and suggest that discriminative EBM is a promising approach to disease progression modeling.