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Stochastic Differential Mixed-Effects Models


Umberto Picchini, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Durham, Science Laboratories, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK.


Abstract.  Stochastic differential equations have been shown useful in describing random continuous time processes. Biomedical experiments often imply repeated measurements on a series of experimental units and differences between units can be represented by incorporating random effects into the model. When both system noise and random effects are considered, stochastic differential mixed-effects models ensue. This class of models enables the simultaneous representation of randomness in the dynamics of the phenomena being considered and variability between experimental units, thus providing a powerful modelling tool with immediate applications in biomedicine and pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies. In most cases the likelihood function is not available, and thus maximum likelihood estimation of the unknown parameters is not possible. Here we propose a computationally fast approximated maximum likelihood procedure for the estimation of the non-random parameters and the random effects. The method is evaluated on simulations from some famous diffusion processes and on real data sets.