Estimating multiparameter partial expected value of perfect information from a probabilistic sensitivity analysis sample: a nonparametric regression approach

Med Decis Making. 2014 Apr;34(3):311-26. doi: 10.1177/0272989X13505910. Epub 2013 Nov 18.


The partial expected value of perfect information (EVPI) quantifies the expected benefit of learning the values of uncertain parameters in a decision model. Partial EVPI is commonly estimated via a 2-level Monte Carlo procedure in which parameters of interest are sampled in an outer loop, and then conditional on these, the remaining parameters are sampled in an inner loop. This is computationally demanding and may be difficult if correlation between input parameters results in conditional distributions that are hard to sample from. We describe a novel nonparametric regression-based method for estimating partial EVPI that requires only the probabilistic sensitivity analysis sample (i.e., the set of samples drawn from the joint distribution of the parameters and the corresponding net benefits). The method is applicable in a model of any complexity and with any specification of input parameter distribution. We describe the implementation of the method via 2 nonparametric regression modeling approaches, the Generalized Additive Model and the Gaussian process. We demonstrate in 2 case studies the superior efficiency of the regression method over the 2-level Monte Carlo method. R code is made available to implement the method.

Keywords: Bayesian decision theory; computational methods; economic evaluation model; expected value of perfect information; nonparametric regression; value of information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Decision Trees
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Probability*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric*