18th AIAI 2022, 17 - 20 June 2022, Greece

Predicting Risk of Dementia with Survival Machine Learning and Statistical Methods: Results on the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing Cohort

Daniel Stamate, Henry Musto, Olesya Ajnakina, Daniel Stahl


  Machine learning models that aim to predict dementia onset usually follow the classification methodology ignoring the time until an event happens. This study presents an alternative, using survival analysis within the context of machine learning techniques. Two survival method extensions based on machine learning algorithms of Random Forest and Elastic Net are applied to train, optimise, and validate predictive models based on the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing – ELSA cohort. The two survival machine learning models are compared with the conventional statistical Cox proportional hazard model, proving their superior predictive capability and stability on the ELSA data, as demonstrated by computationally intensive procedures such as nested cross-validation and Monte Carlo validation. This study is the first to apply survival machine learning to the ELSA data, and demonstrates in this case the superiority of AI based predictive modelling approaches over the widely employed Cox statistical approach in survival analysis. Implications, methodological considerations, and future research directions are discussed.  

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