AutoScore-Survival: Developing interpretable machine learning-based time-to-event scores with right-censored survival data

by   Feng Xie, et al.

Scoring systems are highly interpretable and widely used to evaluate time-to-event outcomes in healthcare research. However, existing time-to-event scores are predominantly created ad-hoc using a few manually selected variables based on clinician's knowledge, suggesting an unmet need for a robust and efficient generic score-generating method. AutoScore was previously developed as an interpretable machine learning score generator, integrated both machine learning and point-based scores in the strong discriminability and accessibility. We have further extended it to time-to-event data and developed AutoScore-Survival, for automatically generating time-to-event scores with right-censored survival data. Random survival forest provides an efficient solution for selecting variables, and Cox regression was used for score weighting. We illustrated our method in a real-life study of 90-day mortality of patients in intensive care units and compared its performance with survival models (i.e., Cox) and the random survival forest. The AutoScore-Survival-derived scoring model was more parsimonious than survival models built using traditional variable selection methods (e.g., penalized likelihood approach and stepwise variable selection), and its performance was comparable to survival models using the same set of variables. Although AutoScore-Survival achieved a comparable integrated area under the curve of 0.782 (95 generated are favorable in clinical applications because they are easier to compute and interpret. Our proposed AutoScore-Survival provides an automated, robust and easy-to-use machine learning-based clinical score generator to studies of time-to-event outcomes. It provides a systematic guideline to facilitate the future development of time-to-event scores for clinical applications.


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