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BayCANN: Streamlining Bayesian Calibration with Artificial Neural Network Metamodeling

by   Hawre Jalal, et al.

Purpose: Bayesian calibration is theoretically superior to standard direct-search algorithm because it can reveal the full joint posterior distribution of the calibrated parameters. However, to date, Bayesian calibration has not been used often in health decision sciences due to practical and computational burdens. In this paper we propose to use artificial neural networks (ANN) as one solution to these limitations. Methods: Bayesian Calibration using Artificial Neural Networks (BayCANN) involves (1) training an ANN metamodel on a sample of model inputs and outputs, and (2) then calibrating the trained ANN metamodel instead of the full model in a probabilistic programming language to obtain the posterior joint distribution of the calibrated parameters. We demonstrate BayCANN by calibrating a natural history model of colorectal cancer to adenoma prevalence and cancer incidence data. In addition, we compare the efficiency and accuracy of BayCANN against performing a Bayesian calibration directly on the simulation model using an incremental mixture importance sampling (IMIS) algorithm. Results: BayCANN was generally more accurate than IMIS in recovering the "true" parameter values. The ratio of the absolute ANN deviation from the truth compared to IMIS for eight out of the nine calibrated parameters were less than one indicating that BayCANN was more accurate than IMIS. In addition, BayCANN took about 15 minutes total compared to the IMIS method which took 80 minutes. Conclusions: In our case study, BayCANN was more accurate than IMIS and was five-folds faster. Because BayCANN does not depend on the structure of the simulation model, it can be adapted to models of various levels of complexity with minor changes to its structure. We provide BayCANN's open-source implementation in R.


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