roben: Robust Bayesian Variable Selection for Gene-Environment
Gene-environment (G×E) interactions have important implications to elucidate the
etiology of complex diseases beyond the main genetic and environmental effects.
Outliers and data contamination in disease phenotypes of G×E studies have been commonly
encountered, leading to the development of a broad spectrum of robust penalization methods.
Nevertheless, within the Bayesian framework, the issue has not been taken care of in existing
studies. We develop a robust Bayesian variable selection method for G×E interaction
studies. The proposed Bayesian method can effectively accommodate heavy-tailed errors and
outliers in the response variable while conducting variable selection by accounting for
structural sparsity. In particular, the spike-and-slab priors have been imposed on both
individual and group levels to identify important main and interaction effects. An efficient
Gibbs sampler has been developed to facilitate fast computation. The Markov chain Monte Carlo
algorithms of the proposed and alternative methods are efficiently implemented in C++.
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