Inference in Epidemic Models without Likelihoods
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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Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Carol Y. Lin, 2008. "Modeling Infectious Diseases in Humans and Animals by KEELING, M. J. and ROHANI, P," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 993-993, 09.
- Philip D. O'Neill & David J. Balding & Niels G. Becker & Mervi Eerola & Denis Mollison, 2000. "Analyses of infectious disease data from household outbreaks by Markov chain Monte Carlo methods," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 49(4), pages 517-542.
- Phenyo E. Lekone & Bärbel F. Finkenstädt, 2006. "Statistical Inference in a Stochastic Epidemic SEIR Model with Control Intervention: Ebola as a Case Study," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 1170-1177, December.
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