Daily Archives: September 24, 2008

Disease Modeling and the Global Burden of Disease

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you might be wondering, what does Health Metrics have to do with sampling independent sets in graphs? (What is Health Metrics? you might also be wondering.)

In my new job, I’m not that interested in sampling independent sets. I’m mostly interested in sampling from a weird distribution that comes out of a Bayesian denoising problem.

Let me set the stage: a huge project that IHME is part of is the Global Burden of Disease study, which will (among other things) rank 200 diseases and injuries according to how severely they impact humanity. How you could possibly, ethically make this list is the topic of many books, and I won’t try to get into it now. IHME director Chris Murray seems to favor measuring impact in “disability adjusted life years” (DALYs), which is a fairly individualistic, fairly egalitarian approach.

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