Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Kellie Archer


Ordinal scales are commonly used to measure health status and disease related outcomes in hospital settings as well as in translational medical research. Notable examples include cancer staging, which is a five-category ordinal scale indicating tumor size, node involvement, and likelihood of metastasizing. Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), which gives a reliable and objective assessment of conscious status of a patient, is an ordinal scaled measure. In addition, repeated measurements are common in clinical practice for tracking and monitoring the progression of complex diseases. Classical ordinal modeling methods based on the likelihood approach have contributed to the analysis of data in which the response categories are ordered and the number of covariates (p) is smaller than the sample size (n). With the emergence of genomic technologies being increasingly applied for obtaining a more accurate diagnosis and prognosis, a novel type of data, known as high-dimensional data where the number of covariates (p) is much larger than the number of samples (n), are generated. However, corresponding statistical methodologies as well as computational software are lacking for analyzing high-dimensional data with an ordinal or a longitudinal ordinal response. In this thesis, we develop a regularization algorithm to build a parsimonious model for predicting an ordinal response. In addition, we utilize the classical ordinal model with longitudinal measurements to incorporate the cutting-edge data mining tool for a comprehensive understanding of the causes of complex disease on both the molecular level and environmental level. Moreover, we develop the corresponding R package for general utilization. The algorithm was applied to several real datasets as well as to simulated data to demonstrate the efficiency in variable selection and precision in prediction and classification. The four real datasets are from: 1) the National Institute of Mental Health Schizophrenia Collaborative Study; 2) the San Diego Health Services Research Example; 3) A gene expression experiment to understand `Decreased Expression of Intelectin 1 in The Human Airway Epithelium of Smokers Compared to Nonsmokers' by Weill Cornell Medical College; and 4) the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Inflammation and the Host Response to Burn Injury Collaborative Study.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2013

Included in

Biostatistics Commons