Survival analysis, or time-to-event analysis, is an important and widespread problem in healthcare research. Medical research has traditionally relied on Cox models for survival analysis, due to their simplicity and interpretability. Cox models assume a log-linear hazard function as well as proportional hazards over time, and can perform poorly when these assumptions fail. Newer survival models based on machine learning avoid these assumptions and offer improved accuracy, yet sometimes at the expense of model interpretability, which is vital for clinical use. We propose a novel survival analysis pipeline that is both interpretable and competitive with state-of-the-art survival models. Specifically, we use an improved version of survival stacking to transform a survival analysis problem to a classification problem, ControlBurn to perform feature selection, and Explainable Boosting Machines to generate interpretable predictions. To evaluate our pipeline, we predict risk of heart failure using a large-scale EHR database. Our pipeline achieves state-of-the-art performance and provides interesting and novel insights about risk factors for heart failure.
Meta-forecasting is a newly emerging field which combines meta-learning and time series forecasting. The goal of meta-forecasting is to train over a collection of source time series and generalize to new time series one-at-a-time. Previous approaches in meta-forecasting achieve competitive performance, but with the restriction of training a separate model for each sampling frequency. In this work, we investigate meta-forecasting over different sampling frequencies, and introduce a new model, the Continuous Frequency Adapter (CFA), specifically designed to learn frequency-invariant representations. We find that CFA greatly improves performance when generalizing to unseen frequencies, providing a first step towards forecasting over larger multi-frequency datasets.
Missing data is common in applied data science, particularly for tabular data sets found in healthcare, social sciences, and natural sciences. Most supervised learning methods work only on complete data, thus requiring preprocessing, such as missing value imputation, to work on incomplete data sets. However, imputation discards potentially useful information encoded by the pattern of missing values. For data sets with informative missing patterns, the Missing Indicator Method (MIM), which adds indicator variables to indicate the missing pattern, can be used in conjunction with imputation to improve model performance. We show experimentally that MIM improves performance for informative missing values, and we prove that MIM does not hurt linear models asymptotically for uninformative missing values. Nonetheless, MIM can increase variance if many of the added indicators are uninformative, causing harm particularly for high-dimensional data sets. To address this issue, we introduce Selective MIM (SMIM), a method that adds missing indicators only for features that have informative missing patterns. We show empirically that SMIM performs at least as well as MIM across a range of experimental settings, and improves MIM for high-dimensional data.