Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Department Colloquium


Bob Ross Barmish

Friday, January 12th, 2018

Time: 2:30 p.m.  Place: Jeffery Hall 234

Speaker: Yifan Cui, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Title: Tree-based Survival Models and Precision Medicine

Abstract: In the first part, we develop a theoretical framework for survival tree and forest models. We first investigate the method from the aspect of splitting rules. We show that existing approaches lead to a potentially biased estimation of the within-node survival and cause non-optimal selection of the splitting rules. Based on this observation, we develop an adaptive concentration bound result which quantifies the variance component for survival forest models. Furthermore, we show with three specific examples how these concentration bounds, combined with properly designed splitting rules, yield consistency results. In the second part, we focus on one application of survival trees in precision medicine which estimates individualized treatment rules nonparametrically under right censoring. We extend the outcome weighted learning to right censored data without requiring either inverse probability of censoring weighting or semi-parametric modeling of the censoring and failure times. To accomplish this, we take advantage of the tree-based approach to nonparametrically impute the survival time in two different ways. In simulation studies, our estimators demonstrate improved performance compared to existing methods. We also illustrate the proposed method on a phase III clinical trial of non-small cell lung cancer.

Yifan Cui (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill): Yifan Cui is a PhD candidate in the Department of Statistics and Operations Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He works under the co-supervision of Professors Michael Kosorok and Jian Hannig. His research interest include machine learning, tree-based methods, high-dimensional data, personalized medicine, fiducial inference, bayesian inference, causal inference, and survival analysis.