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Title: An online updating approach for testing the proportional hazards assumption with streams of survival data Authors:  Yishu Xue - University of Connecticut (United States) [presenting]
HaiYing Wang - University of Connecticut (United States)
Jun Yan - University of Connecticut (United States)
Elizabeth Schifano - University of Connecticut (United States)
Abstract: The Cox model, which remains as the first choice in analyzing time-to-event data even for large datasets, relies on the proportional hazards (PH) assumption. When survival data arrive sequentially in chunks, a fast and minimally storage intensive approach to test the PH assumption is desirable. We propose an online updating approach that updates the standard test statistic as each new block of data becomes available, and greatly lightens the computational burden. Under the null hypothesis of PH, the proposed statistic is shown to have the same asymptotic distribution as the standard version computed on the entire data stream with the data blocks pooled into one dataset. In simulation studies, the test and its variant based on most recent data blocks maintain their sizes when the PH assumption holds and have substantial power to detect different violations of the PH assumption. We also show in simulations that our approach can be used successfully with ``big data'' that exceed a single computer's computational resources. The approach is illustrated with the survival analysis of patients with lymphoma cancer from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. The proposed test promptly identified deviation from the PH assumption that was not captured by the test based on the entire data.