Statistical Methods for Reconstructing Infection Curves

  • Ron Brookmeyer
  • Jiangang Liao


The objective of this paper is to consider statistical issues for reconstructing infection curves. We investigate the method of back-calculation using a nonstationary incubation period distribution to account for recent treatment advances. A spline methodology based on a penalized likelihood is used for estimating historical infection rates. Estimates can be obtained through iteratively reweighted least squares. Some theoretical calculations to investigate mean square error are presented. There is tradeoff between bias and variance when choosing the smoothing parameter. An approach for choosing a range of sensible smoothing parameters is suggested. Some of the methods are illustrated with the U.S. AIDS epidemic.


Infection Rate Smoothing Parameter Calendar Time Roughness Penalty AIDS Epidemic 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ron Brookmeyer
    • 1
  • Jiangang Liao
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiostatisticsJohns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public HealthBaltimoreUSA

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