Bayesian variable selection method for censored survival data

David Faraggi, Richard Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A Bayesian variable selection method for censored data is proposed in this paper. Based on the sufficiency and asymptotic normality of the maximum partial likelihood estimator, we approximate the posterior distribution of the parameters in a proportional hazards model. We consider a parsimonious model as the full model with some covariates unobserved and replaced by their conditional expected values. A loss function based on the posterior expected estimation error of the log-risk for the proportional hazards model is used to select a parsimonious model. We derive computational expressions for this loss function for both continuous and binary covariates. This approach provides an extension of Lindley's (1968, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B 30, 31-66) variable selection criterion for the linear case. Data from a randomized clinical trial of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis of the liver (PBC) (Fleming and Harrington, 1991, Counting Processes and Survival Analysis) is used to illustrate the proposed method and a simulation study compares it with the backward elimination procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1475-1485
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Bayesian analysis
  • Censored data
  • Missing data
  • Proportional hazards model
  • Subset model
  • Variable selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Statistics and Probability


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