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Activity Number: 515
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: WNAR
Abstract #318267 View Presentation
Title: Gaussian Process Emulator-Based Inference for Spatial Models of Infectious Disease Systems
Author(s): Rob Deardon* and Gyanendra Pokharel
Companies: University of Calgary and University of Calgary
Keywords: Gaussian process ; Emulators ; MCMC ; approximate Bayesian inference ; infectious disease epidemiology ; spatial models

Statistical inference for mechanistic models of infectious disease spread is often very computationally expensive. Such models are generally fitted in a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) framework, which requires multiple calculation of what is often a computationally cumbersome likelihood function. This problem is especially severe when there are large numbers of latent variables to compute. Here, we propose a method of inference based on so-called emulation techniques. Once again, the method is set in a Bayesian MCMC context, but avoids calculation of the computationally expensive likelihood function by replacing it with a Gaussian process approximation of the likelihood function built from simulated data. We show that such a method can be used to infer the model parameters and underlying characteristics of spatial disease systems, and that this can be done in a computationally efficient manner.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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