```
require(rjags) # PACKAGE TO RUN THE jags MODEL. MANDATORY
require(MCMCvis) # THIS PACKAGE CONTAINS THE MCMCsummary FUNCTION USED IN THIS SCRIPT
require(mcmcplots) # USED FOR THE CREATION OF THE CONVERGENCE PLOTS
require(DT) # THIS LIBRARY ALLOWS A NICE DATA DISPLAY WITH THE SEARCH BAR OPTION.
```

# Bayesian 2-LC Random Effects Model

# Introduction

This article is intended to give the reader basic instructions on how to run an `rjags`

script to perform a Bayesian analysis of diagnostic test accuracy and disease prevalence in the absence of a perfect reference test with a 2-latent class random effects model (Dendukuri and Joseph (2001)). The script is implemented in `R`

using the `rjags`

package, which interfaces with the `JAGS`

(Just Another Gibbs Sampler) software for Bayesian analysis.

The term “2-latent class” refers to the presence of two hidden or latent classes in the data - often referred to in diagnostic test accuracy research as target condition positive and target condition negative.

Random effects are incorporated into the model to account for conditional dependence between the observed diagnostic tests.

An example dataset is provided for the user to familiarize themself with the script. It is from a study conducted to estimate the prevalence of Strongyloides infection among a group of Cambodian refugees to Canada (Joseph and Coupal (1995)).

# Download `rjags`

Script

The full script, can be downloaded here.

# Script Instructions

**Suggested **`R Package`

`R Package`

Below is a list of packages we recommend installing. Aside from `rjags`

, which is mandatory, the other packages are optional when performing LC analysis. We do recommend them as they are used in the script. Be aware that some functionalities of the script may not work if you do not install every package listed below.

**Strongyloides Dataset**

The Strongyloides dataset is taken from a study conducted to estimate the prevalence of Strongyloides infection among a group of Cambodian refugees to Canada). It includes 162 participants with results on 2 diagnostic tests. From a notation point of view, we suppose here that the Stool examination is the reference test and the Serology test is the index test.

- n11 cell = Number of patients positive on both tests
- n10 cell = Number of patients positivie on first test (index test) and negative on second test (reference test)
- n01 cell = Number of patients negative on first test (index test) and positive on second test (reference test)
- n00 cell = Number of patients negative on both tests

We recommend to save the Strongyloides dataset in a . txt extension file as `Strongyloides.txt`

in the same folder as the script. The data can be uploaded with the `read.table`

function. The data comprises a single row and 4 columns whose entries are the number of patients falling in each of the 4 categories defined above (n11, n10, n01, n00).

```
<- read.table("Strongyloides.txt", header=TRUE)
DATA datatable(DATA, extensions = 'AutoFill')#, options = list(autoFill = TRUE))
```

This data formatting is however not compatible with the model we will write below, as we need to express the data on an individual level and store it in a list we call `dataList`

. The data that will be included in `dataList`

are the sample size, noted `N`

and the actual joint test results of each individual subject, noted `y`

.

```
# Single patient result for the first (t1) and second (t2) test
<- c(rep(1, DATA$n11), rep(1, DATA$n10), rep(0, DATA$n01), rep(0, DATA$n00) )
t1 <- c(rep(1, DATA$n11), rep(0, DATA$n10), rep(1, DATA$n01), rep(0, DATA$n00) )
t2 # Joint test results for each patient
<- cbind(t1, t2)
y # Number of patients
= dim(y)[1]
N
<- list(y=y, N=N) dataList
```

As seen below, the data `y`

contains as many rows as there are subjects and both columns represent the subject’s test results.

`datatable(y, extensions = 'AutoFill')#, options = list(autoFill = TRUE))`

**Bayesian Latent Class Random Effects Model**

Implementing the Bayesian 2-latent class random effects model in rjags involves specifying the priors and likelihood. Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods, such as Gibbs sampling, are then employed to estimate the posterior distribution of the model parameters.

The `rjags`

model is saved on the current directory (where your script and data should already be saved ideally) as `model.txt`

. Below is the model following the `JAGS`

syntax.

```
=
modelString
"model {
for (i in 1:N) {
#============
# LIKELIHOOD
#============
D1[i]~dbern(prev)
D[i]<-D1[i]+1
y[i,1]~dbern(p1[i,D[i]])
y[i,2]~dbern(p2[i,D[i]])
# Defining the sensitivity and specificity of each subject (with inclusion of random effects)
r[i]~dnorm(0,1)
s1[i]<-phi(a[1,1]+b.RE[1]*r[i])
c1[i]<-phi(a[1,2]+b.RE[2]*r[i])
s2[i]<-phi(a[2,1]+b.RE[1]*r[i])
c2[i]<-phi(a[2,2]+b.RE[2]*r[i])
# Conditional probability of a positive observation
p1[i,2]<-s1[i]
p1[i,1]<-1-c1[i]
p2[i,2]<-s2[i]
p2[i,1]<-1-c2[i]
}
#==================================================
# Prior distributions
#==================================================
prev~dbeta(1,1)
se[1]~dbeta(21.96,5.49)
sp[1]~dbeta(4.1,1.76)
se[2]~dbeta(4.44,13.31)
sp[2]~dbeta(71.25,3.75)
a[1,1]<-probit(se[1])*sqrt(1+b.RE[1]*b.RE[1])
a[1,2]<-probit(sp[1])*sqrt(1+b.RE[1]*b.RE[1])
a[2,1]<-probit(se[2])*sqrt(1+b.RE[2]*b.RE[2])
a[2,2]<-probit(sp[2])*sqrt(1+b.RE[2]*b.RE[2])
b.RE[1]~dnorm(0,1)I(0,)
b.RE[2]~dnorm(0,1)I(0,)
}"
writeLines(modelString,con="model.txt")
```

**Prior Distributions**

The prior distributions used in the script are inspired from those provided in Dendukuri and Joseph (2001).

A `Beta(1,1)`

prior distribution was used for the prevalence parameter which is equivalent to a Uniform(0,1) vague prior.

In a random effects model, prior distributions need to be placed on the `a`

and `b`

parameters as the sensitivity and specificity are functions of these parameters. This often turns out not to be straightforward. Also, expert opinions that are used to derive prior distributions are often expressed as the sensitivity and specificity of the tests. Therefore, in this script we provide Beta prior distributions for the sensitivity and specificity of both tests as explained in this blog article (Specifying prior distribution for diagnostic test accuracy in latent class model with random effects) and low information prior distributions on the `b`

parameters. This induces a prior distribution on the `a`

parameters.

For test 1 (index test =Serology test)

- \(se[1] \sim Beta(21.96,5.49)\)
- \(sp[1] \sim Beta(4.1,1.76)\)

For test 2 (reference test =Stool examination)

- \(se[2] \sim Beta(4.44,13.31)\)
- \(sp[2] \sim Beta(71.25,3.75)\)

Truncated normal prior distributions are used for the random effects parameters as followed

- \(b.RE[1] \sim N(0,1)I(0,)\)
- \(b.RE[2] \sim N(0,1)I(0,)\)

**Initial Values**

Initial values are needed as the starting point for estimating and updating parameters of the model in `rjags`

. We strongly encourage the user to provide their own method of generating initial values rather than counting on `rjags`

to generate them. Initial values can be provided in different ways in `rjags`

. We propose one method below based on the creation of a home made function to randomly generate initial values based on the prior distributions. For more options on how to provide initial values, please see A guide on how to provide initial values in rjags

```
# Initial values
= function(){
GenInits
<- rbeta(1,21.96,5.49)
se1 <- rbeta(1,4.1,1.76)
sp1 <- rbeta(1,4.44,13.31)
se2 <- rbeta(1,71.25,3.75)
sp2 <- abs(rnorm(1,0,1))
b1 <- abs(rnorm(1,0,1))
b2 <- rbeta(1,1,1)
prev
<- c(se1, se2)
se <- c(sp1, sp2)
sp <- c(b1, b2)
b.RE
list(
se = se,
sp = sp,
b.RE = b.RE,
prev = prev,
.RNG.name="base::Wichmann-Hill",
.RNG.seed=321
)
}
```

Below we use our created `GenInits`

function to initialize 3 chains. ** We provide a Seed value for reproducibility : **

```
# Initial values
set.seed(123)
= vector('list',3)
initsList for(i in 1:3){
= GenInits()
initsList[[i]] }
```

**Compiling the model with **`rjags`

`rjags`

We compile the model with the `jags.model`

function.

```
# Compile the model
= jags.model("model.txt",data=dataList,n.chains=3,n.adapt=0, inits=initsList) jagsModel
```

```
Compiling model graph
Resolving undeclared variables
Allocating nodes
Graph information:
Observed stochastic nodes: 324
Unobserved stochastic nodes: 331
Total graph size: 3110
Initializing model
```

**Posterior Sampling**

The posterior samples for the parameters of the model are obtained by running more than one independent chain having its own starting values to assess convergence of the MCMC algorithm. Here in the script, we elected to run 3 separate chains.

The posterior sampling step is in fact a 2-part step.

- First we discard a certain number of iterations with the
`update`

function. This step is often referred to as the`Burn-in`

step and is needed to prevent the posterior samples including subset of samples obtained while the algorithm had not yet converged. Here, we elected to discard 5,000 iterations. - Then we use the
`coda.samples`

function to sample another 5,000 iterations from the posterior distribution. The posterior sample assembled is stored in the`output`

object.

Generally, the number of burn-in and sampling iterations needed will depend on the complexity of the model, the prior distribution as well as the quality of the initial values.

```
#jagsModel$state(internal=FALSE)
# Burn-in iterations
update(jagsModel,n.iter=5000)
# Parameters to be monitored
= c( "se","sp", "a", "b.RE", "prev")
parameters
# Posterior samples
= coda.samples(jagsModel,variable.names=parameters,n.iter=5000)
posterior_results = posterior_results output
```

**Posterior Results**

The `MCMCsummary`

function will provide the following posterior statistics.

- The
`mean`

, - The standard deviation (
`sd`

), - The median (
`50%`

) - The 95% credible interval (
`2.5%`

and`97.5%`

).

Convergence statistics are also provided.

`Rhat`

is the Gelman-Rubin statistic (Gelman and Rubin (1992), Brooks and Gelman (1998)). It is enabled when 2 or more chains are generated. It evaluates MCMC convergence by comparing within- and between-chain variability for each model parameter.`Rhat`

tends to 1 as convergence is approached.

`n.eff`

is the effective sample size (Gelman et al. (2013)). Because the MCMC process causes the posterior draws to be correlated, the effective sample size is an estimate of the sample size required to achieve the same level of precision if that sample was a simple random sample. When draws are correlated, the effective sample size will generally be lower than the actual numbers of draws resulting in poor posterior estimates.

```
= MCMCsummary(output, digits=4)
res datatable(res, extensions = 'AutoFill')
```

**Convergence Diagnostic Plots**

Visual inspection of convergence for key parameters can be studied using different tools. We opted to write our own code as it gives us more flexibility and control on what we want to display. For a given parameter, panel (a) shows posterior density plot; (b) the running posterior mean value; and (c) the history plot. Each chain is identified by a different color. Similar behavior from all `3`

chains would suggest the algorithm has converged. For example, here is the 3-panel plot for the prevalence parameter.

**Index Test** SEROLOGY TEST

#### Sensitivity and Specificity

```
for(k in 1) {
for(i in 1:2) {
# tiff(paste(parameters[i],"[",j,"].tiff",sep=""),width = 23, height = 23, units = "cm", res=200)
par(oma=c(0,0,3,0))
layout(matrix(c(1,2,3,3), 2, 2, byrow = TRUE))
denplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(a)", xlab=paste(parameters[i],"",sep=""), ylab="Density")
rmeanplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(b)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab="Running mean")
traplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(c)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab=paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep=""))
mtext(paste("Diagnostics for ", parameters[i],"[",k,"]","",sep=""), side=3, line=1, outer=TRUE, cex=2)
# dev.off()
} }
```

```
# Plots to check convergence for parameters shared across studies:
for(i in c(4)) { #POSITION OF THE PARAMETER IN THE "parameters" OBJECT
for(k in 1){
# tiff(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"].tiff",sep=""),width = 23, height = 23, units = "cm", res=200)
par(oma=c(0,0,3,0))
layout(matrix(c(1,2,3,3), 2, 2, byrow = TRUE))
denplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(a)", xlab=paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep=""), ylab="Density")
rmeanplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(b)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab="Running mean")
traplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(c)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab=paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep=""))
mtext(paste("Diagnostics for ", parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep=""), side=3, line=1, outer=TRUE, cex=2)
# dev.off()
} }
```

```
# Plots to check convergence for parameters shared across studies:
for(i in c(3)) { #POSITION OF THE PARAMETER IN THE "parameters" OBJECT
for(k in 1){
for(j in 1:2) {
# tiff(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"].tiff",sep=""),width = 23, height = 23, units = "cm", res=200)
par(oma=c(0,0,3,0))
layout(matrix(c(1,2,3,3), 2, 2, byrow = TRUE))
denplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,",",j,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(a)", xlab=paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep=""), ylab="Density")
rmeanplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,",",j,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(b)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab="Running mean")
traplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,",",j,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(c)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab=paste(parameters[i],"[",k,",",j,"]",sep=""))
mtext(paste("Diagnostics for ", parameters[i],"[",k,",",j,"]",sep=""), side=3, line=1, outer=TRUE, cex=2)
# dev.off()
}
} }
```

**Reference Test** STOOL EXAMINATION

#### Sensitivity and Specificity

```
for(k in 2) {
for(i in 1:2) {
# tiff(paste(parameters[i],"[",j,"].tiff",sep=""),width = 23, height = 23, units = "cm", res=200)
par(oma=c(0,0,3,0))
layout(matrix(c(1,2,3,3), 2, 2, byrow = TRUE))
denplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(a)", xlab=paste(parameters[i],"",sep=""), ylab="Density")
rmeanplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(b)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab="Running mean")
traplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(c)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab=paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep=""))
mtext(paste("Diagnostics for ", parameters[i],"[",k,"]","",sep=""), side=3, line=1, outer=TRUE, cex=2)
# dev.off()
} }
```

```
# Plots to check convergence for parameters shared across studies:
for(i in c(4)) { #POSITION OF THE PARAMETER IN THE "parameters" OBJECT
for(k in 2){
# tiff(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"].tiff",sep=""),width = 23, height = 23, units = "cm", res=200)
par(oma=c(0,0,3,0))
layout(matrix(c(1,2,3,3), 2, 2, byrow = TRUE))
denplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(a)", xlab=paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep=""), ylab="Density")
rmeanplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(b)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab="Running mean")
traplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(c)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab=paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep=""))
mtext(paste("Diagnostics for ", parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep=""), side=3, line=1, outer=TRUE, cex=2)
# dev.off()
} }
```

```
# Plots to check convergence for parameters shared across studies:
for(i in c(3)) { #POSITION OF THE PARAMETER IN THE "parameters" OBJECT
for(k in 2){
for(j in 1:2) {
# tiff(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"].tiff",sep=""),width = 23, height = 23, units = "cm", res=200)
par(oma=c(0,0,3,0))
layout(matrix(c(1,2,3,3), 2, 2, byrow = TRUE))
denplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,",",j,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(a)", xlab=paste(parameters[i],"[",k,"]",sep=""), ylab="Density")
rmeanplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,",",j,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(b)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab="Running mean")
traplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i],"[",k,",",j,"]",sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(c)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab=paste(parameters[i],"[",k,",",j,"]",sep=""))
mtext(paste("Diagnostics for ", parameters[i],"[",k,",",j,"]",sep=""), side=3, line=1, outer=TRUE, cex=2)
# dev.off()
}
} }
```

**Prevalence**

```
for(i in 5) {
# tiff(paste(parameters[i],".tiff",sep=""),width = 23, height = 23, units = "cm", res=200)
par(oma=c(0,0,3,0))
layout(matrix(c(1,2,3,3), 2, 2, byrow = TRUE))
denplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i], sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(a)", xlab=paste(parameters[i],"",sep=""), ylab="Density")
rmeanplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i], sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(b)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab="Running mean")
traplot(output, parms=c(paste(parameters[i], sep="")), auto.layout=FALSE, main="(c)")
title(xlab="Iteration", ylab=paste(parameters[i], sep=""))
mtext(paste("Diagnostics for ", parameters[i], sep=""), side=3, line=1, outer=TRUE, cex=2)
# dev.off()
}
```

## References

*Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics*, no. 7: 434–55.

*Biometrics*, no. March: 158–67. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2676854.

*Chapman & Hall/CRC Press, London, Third Edition*.

*Statistical Sciences*, no. 7: 457–72.

*American Journal of Epidemiology*, no. 141: 263–72.

## Citation

```
@online{schiller2024,
author = {Ian Schiller and Nandini Dendukuri},
title = {Bayesian {2-LC} {Random} {Effects} {Model}},
date = {2024-01-11},
url = {https://www.nandinidendukuri.com/LCA/Bayesian_2-LC_Random_Effects_Models.html/},
langid = {en}
}
```