A kernel log-rank test of independence for right-censored data

12/08/2019 ∙ by Tamara Fernández, et al. ∙ 9

With the incorporation of new data gathering methods in clinical research, it becomes fundamental for survival analysis techniques to deal with high-dimensional or/and non-standard covariates. In this paper we introduce a general non-parametric independence test between right-censored survival times and covariates taking values on a general (not necessarily Euclidean) space X. We show that our test statistic has a dual interpretation, first in terms of the supremum of a potentially infinite collection of weight-indexed log-rank tests, with weight functions belonging to a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS) of functions; and second, as the norm of the difference of embeddings of certain finite measures into the RKHS, similar to the Hilbert-Schmidt Independence Criterion (HSIC) test-statistic. We study the asymptotic properties of the test, finding sufficient conditions to ensure that our test is omnibus. The test statistic can be computed straightforwardly, and the rejection threshold is obtained via an asymptotically consistent Wild-Bootstrap procedure. We perform extensive simulations demonstrating that our testing procedure generally performs better than competing approaches in detecting complex nonlinear dependence.

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