The International Journal of Biostatistics
Ed. by Chambaz, Antoine / Hubbard, Alan E. / van der Laan, Mark J.
2 Issues per year
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Inference in Epidemic Models without Likelihoods
- University of Cambridge
- National University of Singapore
- University of Guelph
Likelihood-based inference for epidemic models can be challenging, in part due to difficulties in evaluating the likelihood. The problem is particularly acute in models of large-scale outbreaks, and unobserved or partially observed data further complicates this process. Here we investigate the performance of Markov Chain Monte Carlo and Sequential Monte Carlo algorithms for parameter inference, where the routines are based on approximate likelihoods generated from model simulations. We compare our results to a gold-standard data-augmented MCMC for both complete and incomplete data. We illustrate our techniques using simulated epidemics as well as data from a recent outbreak of Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo and discuss situations in which we think simulation-based inference may be preferable to likelihood-based inference.
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