10 March 2017 Regression without truth with Markov chain Monte-Carlo
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Abstract
Regression without truth (RWT) is a statistical technique for estimating error model parameters of each method in a group of methods used for measurement of a certain quantity. A very attractive aspect of RWT is that it does not rely on a reference method or "gold standard" data, which is otherwise difficult RWT was used for a reference-free performance comparison of several methods for measuring left ventricular ejection fraction (EF), i.e. a percentage of blood leaving the ventricle each time the heart contracts, and has since been applied for various other quantitative imaging biomarkerss (QIBs). Herein, we show how Markov chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC), a computational technique for drawing samples from a statistical distribution with probability density function known only up to a normalizing coefficient, can be used to augment RWT to gain a number of important benefits compared to the original approach based on iterative optimization. For instance, the proposed MCMC-based RWT enables the estimation of joint posterior distribution of the parameters of the error model, straightforward quantification of uncertainty of the estimates, estimation of true value of the measurand and corresponding credible intervals (CIs), does not require a finite support for prior distribution of the measureand generally has a much improved robustness against convergence to non-global maxima. The proposed approach is validated using synthetic data that emulate the EF data for 45 patients measured with 8 different methods. The obtained results show that 90% CI of the corresponding parameter estimates contain the true values of all error model parameters and the measurand. A potential real-world application is to take measurements of a certain QIB several different methods and then use the proposed framework to compute the estimates of the true values and their uncertainty, a vital information for diagnosis based on QIB.
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Hennadii Madan, Franjo Pernuš, Boštjan Likar, Žiga Špiclin, "Regression without truth with Markov chain Monte-Carlo", Proc. SPIE 10136, Medical Imaging 2017: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 101360K (10 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2255880; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2255880
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