TY - JOUR

T1 - Risk estimation using probability machines

AU - Dasgupta, Abhijit

AU - Szymczak, Silke

AU - Moore, Jason H.

AU - Bailey-Wilson, Joan E.

AU - Malley, James D.

PY - 2014/3/1

Y1 - 2014/3/1

N2 - Background: Logistic regression has been the de facto, and often the only, model used in the description and analysis of relationships between a binary outcome and observed features. It is widely used to obtain the conditional probabilities of the outcome given predictors, as well as predictor effect size estimates using conditional odds ratios. Results: We show how statistical learning machines for binary outcomes, provably consistent for the nonparametric regression problem, can be used to provide both consistent conditional probability estimation and conditional effect size estimates. Effect size estimates from learning machines leverage our understanding of counterfactual arguments central to the interpretation of such estimates. We show that, if the data generating model is logistic, we can recover accurate probability predictions and effect size estimates with nearly the same efficiency as a correct logistic model, both for main effects and interactions. We also propose a method using learning machines to scan for possible interaction effects quickly and efficiently. Simulations using random forest probability machines are presented. Conclusions: The models we propose make no assumptions about the data structure, and capture the patterns in the data by just specifying the predictors involved and not any particular model structure. So they do not run the same risks of model mis-specification and the resultant estimation biases as a logistic model. This methodology, which we call a "risk machine", will share properties from the statistical machine that it is derived from.

AB - Background: Logistic regression has been the de facto, and often the only, model used in the description and analysis of relationships between a binary outcome and observed features. It is widely used to obtain the conditional probabilities of the outcome given predictors, as well as predictor effect size estimates using conditional odds ratios. Results: We show how statistical learning machines for binary outcomes, provably consistent for the nonparametric regression problem, can be used to provide both consistent conditional probability estimation and conditional effect size estimates. Effect size estimates from learning machines leverage our understanding of counterfactual arguments central to the interpretation of such estimates. We show that, if the data generating model is logistic, we can recover accurate probability predictions and effect size estimates with nearly the same efficiency as a correct logistic model, both for main effects and interactions. We also propose a method using learning machines to scan for possible interaction effects quickly and efficiently. Simulations using random forest probability machines are presented. Conclusions: The models we propose make no assumptions about the data structure, and capture the patterns in the data by just specifying the predictors involved and not any particular model structure. So they do not run the same risks of model mis-specification and the resultant estimation biases as a logistic model. This methodology, which we call a "risk machine", will share properties from the statistical machine that it is derived from.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84899100296&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/1756-0381-7-2

DO - 10.1186/1756-0381-7-2

M3 - Journal articles

AN - SCOPUS:84899100296

SN - 1756-0381

VL - 7

JO - BioData Mining

JF - BioData Mining

IS - 1

M1 - 2

ER -