Franczak, Brian C., McNicholas, Paul D., Browne, Ryan P., Murray, Paula M.

A family of parsimonious shifted asymmetric Laplace mixture models is introduced. We extend the mixture of factor analyzers model to the shifted asymmetric Laplace distribution. Imposing constraints on the constitute parts of the resulting decomposed component scale matrices leads to a family of parsimonious models. An explicit two-stage parameter estimation procedure is described, and the Bayesian information criterion and the integrated completed likelihood are compared for model selection. This novel family of models is applied to real data, where it is compared to its Gaussian analogue within clustering and classification paradigms.

Marrelec, Guillaume, Giron, Alain

Mutual independence is a key concept in statistics that characterizes the structural relationships between variables. Existing methods to investigate mutual independence rely on the definition of two competing models, one being nested into the other and used to generate a null distribution for a statistic of interest, usually under the asymptotic assumption of large sample size. As such, these methods have a very restricted scope of application. In the present manuscript, we propose to change the investigation of mutual independence from a hypothesis-driven task that can only be applied in very specific cases to a blind and automated search within patterns of mutual independence. To this end, we treat the issue as one of model comparison that we solve in a Bayesian framework. We show the relationship between such an approach and existing methods in the case of multivariate normal distributions as well as cross-classified multinomial distributions. We propose a general Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm to numerically approximate the posterior distribution on the space of all patterns of mutual independence. The relevance of the method is demonstrated on synthetic data as well as two real datasets, showing the unique insight provided by this approach.

Saeedi, Ardavan, Bouchard-côté, Alexandre

We introduce the Gamma-Exponential Process (GEP), a prior over a large family ofcontinuous time stochastic processes. A hierarchical version of this prior (HGEP; the Hierarchical GEP) yields a useful model for analyzing complex time series. Models based on HGEPs display many attractive properties: conjugacy, exchangeability and closed-form predictive distribution for the waiting times, and exact Gibbs updates for the time scale parameters. After establishing these properties, weshow how posterior inference can be carried efficiently using Particle MCMC methods [1]. This yields a MCMC algorithm that can resample entire sequences atomicallywhile avoiding the complications of introducing slice and stick auxiliary variables of the beam sampler [2]. We applied our model to the problem of estimating the disease progression in multiple sclerosis [3], and to RNA evolutionary modeling[4]. In both domains, we found that our model outperformed the standard rate matrix estimation approach.

Greenlaw, Keelin, Szefer, Elena, Graham, Jinko, Lesperance, Mary, Nathoo, Farouk S.

Motivation: Recent advances in technology for brain imaging and high-throughput genotyping have motivated studies examining the influence of genetic variation on brain structure. Wang et al. (Bioinformatics, 2012) have developed an approach for the analysis of imaging genomic studies using penalized multi-task regression with regularization based on a novel group $l_{2,1}$-norm penalty which encourages structured sparsity at both the gene level and SNP level. While incorporating a number of useful features, the proposed method only furnishes a point estimate of the regression coefficients; techniques for conducting statistical inference are not provided. A new Bayesian method is proposed here to overcome this limitation. Results: We develop a Bayesian hierarchical modeling formulation where the posterior mode corresponds to the estimator proposed by Wang et al. (Bioinformatics, 2012), and an approach that allows for full posterior inference including the construction of interval estimates for the regression parameters. We show that the proposed hierarchical model can be expressed as a three-level Gaussian scale mixture and this representation facilitates the use of a Gibbs sampling algorithm for posterior simulation. Simulation studies demonstrate that the interval estimates obtained using our approach achieve adequate coverage probabilities that outperform those obtained from the nonparametric bootstrap. Our proposed methodology is applied to the analysis of neuroimaging and genetic data collected as part of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), and this analysis of the ADNI cohort demonstrates clearly the value added of incorporating interval estimation beyond only point estimation when relating SNPs to brain imaging endophenotypes.

Lock, Eric F., Dunson, David B.

The task of clustering a set of objects based on multiple sources of data arises in several modern applications. We propose an integrative statistical model that permits a separate clustering of the objects for each data source. These separate clusterings adhere loosely to an overall consensus clustering, and hence they are not independent. We describe a computationally scalable Bayesian framework for simultaneous estimation of both the consensus clustering and the source-specific clusterings. We demonstrate that this flexible approach is more robust than joint clustering of all data sources, and is more powerful than clustering each data source separately. This work is motivated by the integrated analysis of heterogeneous biomedical data, and we present an application to subtype identification of breast cancer tumor samples using publicly available data from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Software is available at http://people.duke.edu/~el113/software.html.