Brain connectivity studies often refer to brain areas as graph nodes and connections between nodes as edges, and aim to identify neuropsychiatric phenotype-related connectivity patterns. When performing group-level brain connectivity alternation analyses, it is critical to model the dependence structure between multivariate connectivity edges to achieve accurate and efficient estimates of model parameters. However, specifying and estimating dependencies between connectivity edges presents formidable challenges because (i) the dimensionality of parameters in the covariance matrix is high (of the order of the fourth power of the number of nodes); (ii) the covariance between a pair of edges involves four nodes with spatial location information; and (iii) the dependence structure between edges can be related to unknown network topological structures. Existing methods for large covariance/precision matrix regularization and spatial closeness-based dependence structure specification/estimation models may not fully address the complexity and challenges. We develop a new Bayesian nonparametric model that unifies information from brain network areas (nodes), connectivity (edges), and covariance between edges by constructing the function of covariance matrix based on the underlying network topological structure. We perform parameter estimation using an efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm. We apply our method to resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 60 subjects of a schizophrenia study and simulated data to demonstrate the performance of our method.

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