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Bayesian model comparison for compartmental models with applications in positron emission tomography

Yan Zhou, John Aston and Adam Johansen ()

Journal of Applied Statistics, 2013, vol. 40, issue 5, 993-1016

Abstract: We develop strategies for Bayesian modelling as well as model comparison, averaging and selection for compartmental models with particular emphasis on those that occur in the analysis of positron emission tomography (PET) data. Both modelling and computational issues are considered. Biophysically inspired informative priors are developed for the problem at hand, and by comparison with default vague priors it is shown that the proposed modelling is not overly sensitive to prior specification. It is also shown that an additive normal error structure does not describe measured PET data well, despite being very widely used, and that within a simple Bayesian framework simultaneous parameter estimation and model comparison can be performed with a more general noise model. The proposed approach is compared with standard techniques using both simulated and real data. In addition to good, robust estimation performance, the proposed technique provides, automatically, a characterisation of the uncertainty in the resulting estimates which can be considerable in applications such as PET.

Date: 2013
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