Variance partitioning in spatio-temporal disease mapping models

by   M. Franco-Villoria, et al.
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

Bayesian disease mapping, yet if undeniably useful to describe variation in risk over time and space, comes with the hurdle of prior elicitation on hard-to-interpret precision parameters. We introduce a reparametrized version of the popular spatio-temporal interaction models, based on Kronecker product intrinsic Gaussian Markov Random Fields, that we name variance partitioning (VP) model. The VP model includes a mixing parameter that balances the contribution of the main and interaction effects to the total (generalized) variance and enhances interpretability. The use of a penalized complexity prior on the mixing parameter aids in coding any prior information in a intuitive way. We illustrate the advantages of the VP model on two case studies.


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