Sequential updating via dynamic hierarchical models: A Bayesian approach to longitudinal data analysis

Carol George Rochester, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Most statistical analysis, theory and practice, is concerned with static models; models with a proposed set of parameters whose values are fixed across observational units. Static models implicitly assume that the quantified relationships remain the same across the design space of the data. While this is reasonable under many circumstances this can be a dangerous assumption when dealing with sequentially ordered data. The mere passage of time always brings fresh considerations and the interrelationships among parameters, or subsets of parameters, may need to be continually revised. When data are gathered sequentially dynamic interim monitoring may be useful as new subject-specific parameters are introduced with each new observational unit. Sequential imputation via dynamic hierarchical models is an efficient strategy for handling missing data and analyzing longitudinal studies. Dynamic conditional independence models offers a flexible framework that exploits the Bayesian updating scheme for capturing the evolution of both the population and individual effects over time. While static models often describe aggregate information well they often do not reflect conflicts in the information at the individual level. Dynamic models prove advantageous over static models in capturing both individual and aggregate trends. Computations for such models can be carried out via the Gibbs sampler. An application using a small sample repeated measures normally distributed growth curve data is presented.

Subject Area

Public health|Statistics

Recommended Citation

Rochester, Carol George, "Sequential updating via dynamic hierarchical models: A Bayesian approach to longitudinal data analysis" (1999). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9929466.