Estimation across multiple models with application to Bayesian computing and software development
Statistical models are sometimes incorporated into computer software for making predictions about future observations. When the computer model consists of a single statistical model this corresponds to estimation of a function of the model parameters. This paper is concerned with the case that the computer model implements multiple, individually-estimated statistical sub-models. This case frequently arises, for example, in models for medical decision making that derive parameter information from multiple clinical studies. We develop a method for calculating the posterior mean of a function of the parameter vectors of multiple statistical models that is easy to implement in computer software, has high asymptotic accuracy, and has a computational cost linear in the total number of model parameters. The formula is then used to derive a general result about posterior estimation across multiple models. The utility of the results is illustrated by application to clinical software that estimates the risk of fatal coronary disease in people with diabetes. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.