Optimal Structural Nested Models for Optimal Sequential Decisions

  • James M. Robins
Part of the Lecture Notes in Statistics book series (LNS, volume 179)


I describe two new methods for estimating the optimal treatment regime (equivalently, protocol, plan or strategy) from very high dimesional observational and experimental data: (i) g-estimation of an optimal double-regime structural nested mean model (drSNMM) and (ii) g-estimation of a standard single regime SNMM combined with sequential dynamic-programming (DP) regression. These methods are compared to certain regression methods found in the sequential decision and reinforcement learning literatures and to the regret modelling methods of Murphy (2003). I consider both Bayesian and frequentist inference. In particular, I propose a novel “Bayes-frequentist compromise” that combines honest subjective non- or semiparametric Bayesian inference with good frequentist behavior, even in cases where the model is so large and the likelihood function so complex that standard (uncompromised) Bayes procedures have poor frequentist performance.


Sequential Randomization Influence Function Optimal Regime Sequential Decision Closed Linear Span 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. Robins
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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