Bayesian Inference of Individualized Treatment Effects using Multi-task Gaussian Processes

Neural Information Processing Systems

Predicated on the increasing abundance of electronic health records, we investigate the problem of inferring individualized treatment effects using observational data. Stemming from the potential outcomes model, we propose a novel multi-task learning framework in which factual and counterfactual outcomes are modeled as the outputs of a function in a vector-valued reproducing kernel Hilbert space (vvRKHS). We develop a nonparametric Bayesian method for learning the treatment effects using a multi-task Gaussian process (GP) with a linear coregionalization kernel as a prior over the vvRKHS. The Bayesian approach allows us to compute individualized measures of confidence in our estimates via pointwise credible intervals, which are crucial for realizing the full potential of precision medicine. The impact of selection bias is alleviated via a risk-based empirical Bayes method for adapting the multi-task GP prior, which jointly minimizes the empirical error in factual outcomes and the uncertainty in (unobserved) counterfactual outcomes. We conduct experiments on observational datasets for an interventional social program applied to premature infants, and a left ventricular assist device applied to cardiac patients wait-listed for a heart transplant. In both experiments, we show that our method significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art.


Sparse Bayesian structure learning with “dependent relevance determination” priors

Neural Information Processing Systems

In many problem settings, parameter vectors are not merely sparse, but dependent in such a way that non-zero coefficients tend to cluster together. We refer to this form of dependency as “region sparsity”. Classical sparse regression methods, such as the lasso and automatic relevance determination (ARD), model parameters as independent a priori, and therefore do not exploit such dependencies. Here we introduce a hierarchical model for smooth, region-sparse weight vectors and tensors in a linear regression setting. Our approach represents a hierarchical extension of the relevance determination framework, where we add a transformed Gaussian process to model the dependencies between the prior variances of regression weights. We combine this with a structured model of the prior variances of Fourier coefficients, which eliminates unnecessary high frequencies. The resulting prior encourages weights to be region-sparse in two different bases simultaneously. We develop efficient approximate inference methods and show substantial improvements over comparable methods (e.g., group lasso and smooth RVM) for both simulated and real datasets from brain imaging.


Clustering by the local intrinsic dimension: the hidden structure of real-world data

arXiv.org Machine Learning

It is well known that a small number of variables is often sufficient to effectively describe high-dimensional data. This number is called the intrinsic dimension (ID) of the data. What is not so commonly known is that the ID can vary within the same dataset. This fact has been highlighted in technical discussions, but seldom exploited to gain practical insight in the data structure. Here we develop a simple and robust approach to cluster regions with the same local ID in a given data landscape. Surprisingly, we find that many real-world data sets contain regions with widely heterogeneous dimensions. These regions host points differing in core properties: folded vs unfolded configurations in a protein molecular dynamics trajectory, active vs non-active regions in brain imaging data, and firms with different financial risk in company balance sheets. Our results show that a simple topological feature, the local ID, is sufficient to uncover a rich structure in high-dimensional data landscapes. Introduction From string theory to science fiction, the idea that we might be glued onto a lowdimensional surface embedded in a space of large dimensionality has tickled the speculations of scientists and writers alike. When it comes to multidimensional data, however, such situation is quite common rather than a wild speculation: data often concentrate on hypersurfaces of low intrinsic dimension (ID).


Fast spatial inference in the homogeneous Ising model

arXiv.org Machine Learning

The Ising model is important in statistical modeling and inference in many applications, however its normalizing constant, mean number of active vertices and mean spin interaction are intractable. We provide accurate approximations that make it possible to calculate these quantities numerically. Simulation studies indicate good performance when compared to Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods and at a tiny fraction of the time. The methodology is also used to perform Bayesian inference in a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging activation detection experiment.


Bayesian Modelling of fMRI lime Series

Neural Information Processing Systems

We present a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) for inferring the hidden psychological state (or neural activity) during single trial tMRI activation experimentswith blocked task paradigms. Inference is based on Bayesian methodology, using a combination of analytical and a variety of Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling techniques. The advantage ofthis method is that detection of short time learning effects between repeated trials is possible since inference is based only on single trial experiments.