# Development of the nomolog program and its evolution

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1 Development of the nomolog program and its evolution Towards the implementation of a nomogram generator for the Cox regression Alexander Zlotnik, Telecom.Eng. Víctor Abraira Santos, PhD Ramón y Cajal University Hospital

2 NOTICE Nomogram generators for logistic and Cox regression models have been updated since this presentation. Download links to the latest program versions (nomolog & nomocox), examples, tutorials and methodological notes are available on this webpage:

3 Structure of Presentation Introduction Logistic regression nomograms Positive coefficients & interactions The nomolog package Cox nomograms Large programs in Stata language Future work

4 Introduction What is a nomogram?

5 Introduction Nomograms are one of the simplest, easiest and cheapest methods of mechanical calculus. ( ) precision is similar to that of a logarithmic ruler ( ). Nomograms can be used for research purposes ( ) sometimes leading to new scientific results. Source: Nomography and its applications G.S. Jovanovsky, Ed. Nauka, 1977

6 Introduction Sometimes complex calculations Stability conditions

7 Introduction can be greatly simplified with a nomogram

8 Structure of Presentation Introduction Logistic regression nomograms Positive coefficients & interactions The nomolog package Cox nomograms Large programs in Stata language Future work

9 Logistic regression nomograms Logistic regression based predictive models are used in many fields, clinical research being one of them. Problems: Variable importance is not obvious (coefficients may be small, but variable ranges may be large). Calculating an output probability with a set of input variable values can be laborious for these models, which hinders their adoption.

10 Logistic regression nomograms Logistic regression nomogram generation Plot all possible scores/points (α 1 x i ) for each variable (X 1..N ). Get constant (α 0 ). Transform into probability of event given the formula p = α + TP) 1+ e 1 ( 0 Total points = TP = α 1 X 1 + α 2 X 2 +

11 Logistic regression nomograms Example: logit complications gender transfusions age Coef. Std. Err. z P>z [95% Conf. Interval] Age transfusions gender _cons ln( p /1 p) = Y = * Age * transfusions + + gender * p = ( e^y ) /(1 + e^y ) level = 0 => Female level = 1 => Male

12 Logistic regression predictive models Example: For a 40 year old male who had 35 transfusions, Score(Male) 0.8; Score(35 transfusions) 1.9; Score(40 years old) 4. The total score would be approximately 6.7, which is equivalent to a probability of event of approximately 0.22.

13 Logistic regression nomograms Output probability calculations are much easier. Variable importance is clear at a glance.

14 A (gentle) word of warning Nomograms are a representation of a model, not a model validation tool. Nomograms don t have confidence intervals. It is sort of possible to graph nomograms with CIs, but it makes little sense. Nomograms should be used in models with good calibration, if possible with (extensive) external validation.

15 Score rescaling Coef. Std. Err. z P>z [95% Conf. Interval] age transfusions gender _cons

16 Score rescaling Scores are not equal to coefficient values because we rescale the scores

17 Structure of Presentation Introduction Logistic regression nomograms Positive coefficients & interactions The nomolog package Cox nomograms Large programs in Stata language Future work

18 Dummy coefficient re adjustment Coefficients are forced positive

19 Dummy coefficient re adjustment and then z = β 0 + β A1 D 1 + β A2 D β AN D N where β 0 = α 0 min(α Ai i=1..n ) β 1 = α 1 min(α Ai i=1..n ) β N = α N min(α Ai i=1..n )

20 Some dummy coefficients may be negative

21 Forced positive coefficients All coefficients are forced to be positive This causes a displacement in the Total score to Prob conversion (due to α 0 )

22 Interactions Three types of interactions are supported: Continuous # Categorical Categorical # Categorical Continuous # Continuous

23 Interactions Positive coefficients are not forced in interaction terms It is left to the user to find reference terms which produce positive interaction coefficients

24 Structure of Presentation Introduction Logistic regression nomograms Positive coefficients & interactions The nomolog package Cox nomograms Large programs in Stata language Future work

25 Installation Manual Create c:\ado\personal (if it doesn t exist) Copy the program files there. Or, alternatively, create c:\ado\plus\n\ (if it doesn t exist) Copy the program files there. Automatic (will become available in 4 5 months) ssc install nomolog

26 Usage logistic anything (usual syntax) nomolog, options Or, use the Graphical User Interface db nomolog

27 Variable labels can be used

28 Usage

29 Interaction simplification sysuse nlsw88, clear logit union i.race##i.collgrad age matrix list e(b) e(b)[1,13] union: union: union: union: union: union: union: 1b b. 1. 1b.race# 1b.race# race race race collgrad collgrad 0b.collgrad 1o.collgrad y union: union: union: union: union: union: 2o.race# 2.race# 3o.race# 3.race# 0b.collgrad 1.collgrad 0b.collgrad 1.collgrad age _cons y

30 Interaction simplification Not simplified interaction

31 Interaction simplification Simplified interaction

32 Interaction simplification Here we calculate the predicted probabilities with predict and compare them to the ones obtained with a nomogram.

33 Imposed variable ranges sysuse nlsw88, clear logit union tenure i.south

34 Imposed variable ranges Warning: Imposing variable ranges for non existent values will produce out of sample predictions

35 Imposed variable ranges

36 Total Score > Probability values Sometimes the default probability line values lack the sufficient resolution in the area of interest

37 Total Score > Probability values sysuse nlsw88 logit union i.collgrad i.race db nomolog If this is the case, we can modify them

38 Total Score > Probability values Nomogram race white black other collgrad not college grad college grad Score Prob Total score

39 cont # cont interactions sysuse nomolog_ex, clear logit outcome c.age#c.transfusions cont#cont interactions must be particularized to be represented on a linear nomogram

40 cont # cont interactions

41 Structure of Presentation Introduction Logistic regression nomograms Positive coefficients & interactions The nomolog package Cox nomograms Large programs in Stata language Future work

42 Cox regression nomograms Logistic regression Cox regression

43 Cox regression nomograms Coefficients can be obtained from the e(b) matrix The base survival can be calculated as use dataset.dta stset studytime, failure(died==1) stcox predict _s0, basesurv egen _sup10y=min(_s0) if _t<=10

44 Logistic vs Cox nomograms The calculation can then be performed in a similar way to the one of the logistic regression nomogram

45 Structure of Presentation Introduction Logistic regression nomograms Positive coefficients & interactions The nomolog package Cox nomograms Large programs in Stata language Future work

46 Large programs in Stata

47 Large programs in Stata This is a wild guess, but I d say that in Stata more than 70% of an average programmer s time is spent debugging. In large programs it is very important to be able to test individual components and their interactions. If an error is detected, it may be located much faster this way. Stata doesn t make this easy.

48 Large programs in Stata Stata lacks a debugger. Using di and set trace on is very time consuming. Error messages are usually not very informative. invalid syntax r(198);

49 Large programs in Stata Curly braces ({ }) positioning is enforced and can lead to very hard to trace problems; but indentation is not. This is valid syntax if `a > `b { } This is not if `a > `b { }

50 Large programs in Stata Some recommendations for large ADO programs: Use indentation Use START x END x style comments

51 Large programs in Stata Some recommendations for large ADO programs: Create a debug mode and produce some output as the program proceeds Try to use meaningful variable names Depending on the value of idebug, we produce more or less output

52 Large programs in Stata The right way to create temporary files is tempfile pt_filename This guarantees that these files are unique and that they are deleted once the program ends. Try to test the program after each significant change, so that you know which change caused the error.

53 Structure of Presentation Introduction Logistic regression nomograms Positive coefficients & interactions The nomolog package Cox nomograms Large programs in Stata language Future work

54 Future work Explore addplot as a way to overcome some of xtline limitations. Cox regression nomograms. Poisson regression nomograms.

55 Suggested citation & further information A general purpose nomogram generator for predictive logistic regression models. In press (expected release in 2015). Alexander Zlotnik, Víctor Abraira. Stata Journal. Further information (examples, visual tutorials): Contact e mail:

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### From the help desk: Demand system estimation

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