A Probabilistic Model for the MRMC Method, Part 2: Validation and Applications

Matthew A. Kupinski, Eric Clarkson, Harrison H. Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives: We have previously described a probabilistic model for the multiple-reader, multiple-case paradigm for receiver operating characteristic analysis. When the figure of merit is the Wilcoxon statistic, this model returns a seven-term expansion for the variance of this statistic as a function of the numbers of cases and readers. This probabilistic model also provides expressions for the coefficients in the seven-term expansion in terms of expectations over the internal noise, readers, and cases. Finally, this probabilistic model sets bounds on both the overall variance of the Wilcoxon statistic and the individual coefficients. Materials and Methods: In this article, we will first validate the probabilistic model by comparing variances determined by direct computation of the expansion coefficients to empirical estimates of the variance using independent sampling. Validation of the probabilistic model will enable us to use the direct estimates of the expansion coefficients as a gold standard to compare other coefficient-estimation techniques. Next, we develop a coefficient-estimation technique that employs bootstrapping to estimate the Wilcoxon statistic variance for different numbers of readers and cases. We then employ constrained, least-squares fitting techniques to estimate the expansion coefficients. The constraints used in this fitting are derived directly from the probabilistic model. Results: Using two different simulation studies, we show that the novel (and practical) bootstrapping/fitting technique returns estimates of the coefficients that are consistent with the gold standard. Conclusion: The results presented also serve to validate the seven-term expansion for the variance of the Wilcoxon statistic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1422-1430
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • ROC analysis
  • Wilcoxon statistic
  • multiple reader multiple case

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'A Probabilistic Model for the MRMC Method, Part 2: Validation and Applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this