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Non-parametric Bayesian Vector Autoregression using Multi-subject Data

by   Suprateek Kundu, et al.

There has been a rich development of vector autoregressive (VAR) models for modeling temporally correlated multivariate outcomes. However, the existing VAR literature has largely focused on single subject parametric analysis, with some recent extensions to multi-subject modeling with known subgroups. Motivated by the need for flexible Bayesian methods that can pool information across heterogeneous samples in an unsupervised manner, we develop a novel class of non-parametric Bayesian VAR models based on heterogeneous multi-subject data. In particular, we propose a product of Dirichlet process mixture priors that enables separate clustering at multiple scales, which result in partially overlapping clusters that provide greater flexibility. We develop several variants of the method to cater to varying levels of heterogeneity. We implement an efficient posterior computation scheme and illustrate posterior consistency properties under reasonable assumptions on the true density. Extensive numerical studies show distinct advantages over competing methods in terms of estimating model parameters and identifying the true clustering and sparsity structures. Our analysis of resting state fMRI data from the Human Connectome Project reveals biologically interpretable differences between distinct fluid intelligence groups, and reproducible parameter estimates. In contrast, single-subject VAR analyses followed by permutation testing result in negligible differences, which is biologically implausible.


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