Title: Deriving enhanced geographical representations via similarity-based spectral analysis: predicting colorectal cancer survival curves in Iowa

Authors: Michael T. Lash; Min Zhang; Xun Zhou; W. Nick Street; Charles F. Lynch

Addresses: Department of Computer Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA ' Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Informatics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA ' Management Sciences Department, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA ' Management Sciences Department, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA ' Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA

Abstract: Neural networks are capable of learning rich, nonlinear feature representations shown to be beneficial in many predictive tasks. In this work, we use such models to explore different geographical feature representations in the context of predicting colorectal cancer survival curves for patients in the state of Iowa, spanning the years 1989 to 2013. Specifically, we compare model performance using area between the curves (ABC) to assess (a) whether survival curves can be reasonably predicted for colorectal cancer patients in the state of Iowa, (b) whether geographical features improve predictive performance, (c) whether a simple binary representation, or a richer, spectral analysis-elicited representation perform better, and (d) whether spectral analysis-based representations can be improved upon by leveraging geographically-descriptive features. In exploring (d), we devise a similarity-based spectral analysis procedure, which allows for the combination of geographically relational and geographically descriptive features. Our findings suggest that survival curves can be reasonably estimated on average, with predictive performance deviating at the five-year survival mark among all models. We also find that geographical features improve predictive performance, and that better performance is obtained using richer, spectral analysis-elicited features. Furthermore, we find that similarity-based spectral analysis-elicited representations improve upon the original spectral analysis results by approximately 40%.

Keywords: geographical representations; spectral analysis; deep learning; spectral clustering; neural networks; colorectal cancer; survival curve.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDMB.2018.097677

International Journal of Data Mining and Bioinformatics, 2018 Vol.21 No.3, pp.183 - 211

Available online: 04 Feb 2019 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article