Adaptive Sequential Design for a Single Time-Series

Ivana Malenica, Aurelien Bibaut, Mark J. van der Laan

The current work is motivated by the need for robust statistical methods for precision medicine; as such, we address the need for statistical methods that provide actionable inference for a single unit at any point in time. We aim to learn an optimal, unknown choice of the controlled components of the design in order to optimize the expected outcome; with that, we adapt the randomization mechanism for future time-point experiments based on the data collected on the individual over time. Our results demonstrate that one can learn the optimal rule based on a single sample, and thereby adjust the design at any point t with valid inference for the mean target parameter. This work provides several contributions to the field of statistical precision medicine. First, we define a general class of averages of conditional causal parameters defined by the current context for the single unit time-series data. We define a nonparametric model for the probability distribution of the time-series under few assumptions, and aim to fully utilize the sequential randomization in the estimation procedure via the double robust structure of the efficient influence curve of the proposed target parameter. We present multiple exploration-exploitation strategies for assigning treatment, and methods for estimating the optimal rule. Lastly, we present the study of the data-adaptive inference on the mean under the optimal treatment rule, where the target parameter adapts over time in response to the observed context of the individual. Our target parameter is pathwise differentiable with an efficient influence function that is doubly robust - which makes it easier to estimate than previously proposed variations. We characterize the limit distribution of our estimator under a Donsker condition expressed in terms of a notion of bracketing entropy adapted to martingale settings.

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