BACKGROUND: Artificial neural networks apply complex non-linear functions to pattern recognition problems. An ensemble is a 'committee' of neural networks that usually outperforms single neural networks. Bronchiolitis is a common manifestation of viral lower respiratory tract infection in infants and toddlers. OBJECTIVE: To train artificial neural network ensembles to predict the disposition and length of stay in children presenting to the Emergency Department with bronchiolitis. METHODS: A specifically constructed database of 119 episodes of bronchiolitis was used to train, validate, and test a neural network ensemble. We used EasyNN 7.0 on a 200 Mhz pentium PC with a maths co-processor. The ensemble of neural networks constructed was subjected to fivefold validation. Comparison with actual and predicted dispositions was measured using the kappa statistic for disposition and the Kaplan-Meier estimations and log rank test for predictions of length of stay. RESULTS: The neural network ensembles correctly predicted disposition in 81% (range 75-90%) of test cases. When compared with actual disposition the neural network performed similarly to a logistic regression model and significantly better than various 'dumb machine' strategies with which we compared it. The prediction of length of stay was poorer, 65% (range 60-80%), but the difference between observed and predicted lengths of stay were not significantly different. CONCLUSION: Artificial neural network ensembles can predict disposition for infants and toddlers with bronchiolitis; however, the prediction of length of hospital stay is not as good.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||European journal of emergency medicine : official journal of the European Society for Emergency Medicine|
|State||Published - Oct 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine