Modeling Long-term Dependencies and Short-term Correlations in Patient Journey Data with Temporal Attention Networks for Health Prediction

by   Yuxi Liu, et al.

Building models for health prediction based on Electronic Health Records (EHR) has become an active research area. EHR patient journey data consists of patient time-ordered clinical events/visits from patients. Most existing studies focus on modeling long-term dependencies between visits, without explicitly taking short-term correlations between consecutive visits into account, where irregular time intervals, incorporated as auxiliary information, are fed into health prediction models to capture latent progressive patterns of patient journeys. We present a novel deep neural network with four modules to take into account the contributions of various variables for health prediction: i) the Stacked Attention module strengthens the deep semantics in clinical events within each patient journey and generates visit embeddings, ii) the Short-Term Temporal Attention module models short-term correlations between consecutive visit embeddings while capturing the impact of time intervals within those visit embeddings, iii) the Long-Term Temporal Attention module models long-term dependencies between visit embeddings while capturing the impact of time intervals within those visit embeddings, iv) and finally, the Coupled Attention module adaptively aggregates the outputs of Short-Term Temporal Attention and Long-Term Temporal Attention modules to make health predictions. Experimental results on MIMIC-III demonstrate superior predictive accuracy of our model compared to existing state-of-the-art methods, as well as the interpretability and robustness of this approach. Furthermore, we found that modeling short-term correlations contributes to local priors generation, leading to improved predictive modeling of patient journeys.


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