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Time-to-event analysis with artificial neural networks: An integrated analytical and rule-based study for breast cancer

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11 Author(s)
Lisboa, P.J.G. ; Liverpool John Moores Univ., Liverpool ; Etchells, T.A. ; Jarman, I.H. ; Aung, M.S.H.
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This paper presents an analysis of censored survival data for breast cancer specific mortality and disease free survival. There are three stages to the process, namely time-to-event modelling, risk stratification by predicted outcome and model interpretation using rule extraction. Model selection was carried out using the benchmark linear model, Cox regression but risk staging was derived with Cox regression and with Partial Logistic Regression Artificial Neural Networks regularised with Automatic Relevance Determination (PLANN-ARD). This analysis compares the two approaches showing the benefit in using the neural network framework is better specificity for patients at high risk. The neural network model also has results in a smooth model of the hazard without the need for limiting assumptions of proportionality. The model predictions were verified using out-of-sample testing and by comparing marginal estimates of the predicted and actual cumulative hazards. The analysis was extended with automatic rule generation using Orthogonal Search Rule Extraction (OSRE). This methodology translates analytical risk scores into the language of the clinical domain, enabling direct validation of the operation of the Cox or neural network model.

Published in:

Neural Networks, 2007. IJCNN 2007. International Joint Conference on

Date of Conference:

12-17 Aug. 2007