Summary

Restricted mean survival time (RMST) is a useful summary measurement of the time-to-event data, and it has attracted great attention for its straightforward clinical interpretation. In this article, I propose a deep neural network model that directly relates the RMST to its baseline covariates for simultaneous prediction of RSMT at multiple times. Each subject’s survival time is transformed into a series of jackknife pseudo observations and then used as quantitative response variables in a deep neural network model. By using the pseudo values, a complex survival analysis is reduced to a standard regression problem, which greatly simplifies the neural network construction. By jointly modeling RMST at multiple times, the neural network model gains prediction accuracy by information sharing across times. The proposed network model was evaluated by extensive simulation studies and was further illustrated on three real datasets. In real data analyses, I also used methods to open the blackbox by identifying subject-specific predictors and their importance in contributing to the risk prediction.

Availability and implementation

The source code is freely available at http://github.com/lilizhaoUM/DnnRMST.

Supplementary information

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)