Asymptotic distribution of ∆AUC, NRIs, and IDI based on theory of U-statistics.
The change in area under the curve (∆AUC), the integrated discrimination improvement (IDI), and net reclassification index (NRI) are commonly used measures of risk prediction model performance. Some authors have reported good validity of associated methods of estimating their standard errors (SE) and construction of confidence intervals, whereas others have questioned their performance. To address these issues, we unite the ∆AUC, IDI, and three versions of the NRI under the umbrella of the U-statistics family. We rigorously show that the asymptotic behavior of ∆AUC, NRIs, and IDI fits the asymptotic distribution theory developed for U-statistics. We prove that the ∆AUC, NRIs, and IDI are asymptotically normal, unless they compare nested models under the null hypothesis. In the latter case, asymptotic normality and existing SE estimates cannot be applied to ∆AUC, NRIs, or IDI. In the former case, SE formulas proposed in the literature are equivalent to SE formulas obtained from U-statistics theory if we ignore adjustment for estimated parameters. We use Sukhatme-Randles-deWet condition to determine when adjustment for estimated parameters is necessary. We show that adjustment is not necessary for SEs of the ∆AUC and two versions of the NRI when added predictor variables are significant and normally distributed. The SEs of the IDI and three-category NRI should always be adjusted for estimated parameters. These results allow us to define when existing formulas for SE estimates can be used and when resampling methods such as the bootstrap should be used instead when comparing nested models. We also use the U-statistic theory to develop a new SE estimate of ∆AUC. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Demler, OV; Pencina, MJ; Cook, NR; D'Agostino, RB
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