14 February 2019
Time-dependent data collected in studies of Alzheimer's disease usually has missing and irregularly sampled data points. For this reason time series methods which assume regular sampling cannot be applied directly to the data without a pre-processing step. In this paper we use a random forest to learn the relationship between pairs of data points at different time separations. The input vector is a summary of the time series history and it includes both demographic and non-time varying variables such as genetic data. To test the method we use data from the TADPOLE grand challenge, an initiative which aims to predict the evolution of subjects at risk of Alzheimer's disease using demographic, physical and cognitive input data. The task is to predict diagnosis, ADAS-13 score and normalised ventricles volume. While the competition proceeds, forecasting methods may be compared using a leaderboard dataset selected from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) and with standard metrics for measuring accuracy. For diagnosis, we find an mAUC of 0.82, and a classification accuracy of 0.73 compared with a benchmark SVM predictor which gives mAUC = 0.62 and BCA = 0.52. The results show that the method is effective and comparable with other methods.
Submitted to ORA: