Identify treatment effect patterns for personalised decisions

Jiuyong Li, Saisai Ma, Lin Liu, Thuc Duy Le, Jixue Liu, Yizhao Han

In personalised decision making, evidence is required to determine suitable actions for individuals. Such evidence can be obtained by identifying treatment effect heterogeneity in different subgroups of the population. In this paper, we design a new type of pattern, treatment effect pattern to represent and discover treatment effect heterogeneity from data for determining whether a treatment will work for an individual or not. Our purpose is to use the computational power to find the most specific and relevant conditions for individuals with respect to a treatment or an action to assist with personalised decision making. Most existing work on identifying treatment effect heterogeneity takes a top-down or partitioning based approach to search for subgroups with heterogeneous treatment effects. We propose a bottom-up generalisation algorithm to obtain the most specific patterns that fit individual circumstances the best for personalised decision making. For the generalisation, we follow a consistency driven strategy to maintain inner-group homogeneity and inter-group heterogeneity of treatment effects. We also employ graphical causal modelling technique to identify adjustment variables for reliable treatment effect pattern discovery. Our method can find the treatment effect patterns reliably as validated by the experiments. The method is faster than the two existing machine learning methods for heterogeneous treatment effect identification and it produces subgroups with higher inner-group treatment effect homogeneity.

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