Actor-Critic Approach for Temporal Predictive Clustering

25 Sep 2019  ·  Changhee Lee, Mihaela van der Schaar ·

Due to the wider availability of modern electronic health records (EHR), patient care data is often being stored in the form of time-series. Clustering such time-series data is crucial for patient phenotyping, anticipating patients’ prognoses by identifying “similar” patients, and designing treatment guidelines that are tailored to homogeneous patient subgroups. In this paper, we develop a deep learning approach for clustering time-series data, where each cluster comprises patients who share similar future outcomes of interest (e.g., adverse events, the onset of comorbidities, etc.). The clustering is carried out by using our novel loss functions that encourage each cluster to have homogeneous future outcomes. We adopt actor-critic models to allow “back-propagation” through the sampling process that is required for assigning clusters to time-series inputs. Experiments on two real-world datasets show that our model achieves superior clustering performance over state-of-the-art benchmarks and identifies meaningful clusters that can be translated into actionable information for clinical decision-making.

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