Issues of Computational Efficiency and Model Approximation for Spatial Individual-Level Infectious Disease Models

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Issues of Computational Efficiency and Model Approximation for Spatial Individual-Level Infectious Disease Models

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Title: Issues of Computational Efficiency and Model Approximation for Spatial Individual-Level Infectious Disease Models
Author: Dobbs, Angie
Department: Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Program: Mathematics and Statistics
Advisor: Deardon, Rob
Abstract: Individual-level models (ILMs) are models that can use the spatial-temporal nature of disease data to capture the disease dynamics. Parameter estimation is usually done via Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods, but correlation between model parameters negatively affects MCMC mixing. Introducing a normalization constant to alleviate the correlation results in MCMC convergence over fewer iterations, however this negatively effects computation time. It is important that model fitting is done as efficiently as possible. An upper-truncated distance kernel is introduced to quicken the computation of the likelihood, but this causes a loss in goodness-of-fit. The normalization constant and upper-truncated distance kernel are evaluated as components in various ILMs via a simulation study. The normalization constant is seen not to be worthwhile, as the effect of increased computation time is not outweighed by the reduced correlation. The upper-truncated distance kernel reduces computation time but worsens model fit as the truncation distance decreases.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/3248
Date: 2012-01-06


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