Binary genetic algorithm for optimal joinpoint detection: Application to cancer trend analysis

Seongyoon Kim, Sanghee Lee, Jung Il Choi, Hyunsoon Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The joinpoint regression model (JRM) is used to describe trend changes in many applications and relies on the detection of joinpoints (changepoints). However, the existing joinpoint detection methods, namely, the grid search (GS)-based methods, are computationally demanding, and hence, the maximum number of computable joinpoints is limited. Herein, we developed a genetic algorithm-based joinpoint (GAJP) model in which an explicitly decoupled computing procedure for optimization and regression is used to embed a binary genetic algorithm into the JRM for optimal joinpoint detection. The combinations of joinpoints were represented as binary chromosomes, and genetic operations were performed to determine the optimum solution by minimizing the fitness function, the Bayesian information criterion (BIC) and BIC3. The accuracy and computational performance of the GAJP model were evaluated via intensive simulation studies and compared with those of the GS-based methods using BIC, BIC3, and permutation test. The proposed method showed an outstanding computational efficiency in detecting multiple joinpoints. Finally, the suitability of the GAJP model for the analysis of cancer incidence trends was demonstrated by applying this model to data on the incidence of colorectal cancer in the United States from 1975 to 2016 from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. Thus, the GAJP model was concluded to be practically feasible to detect multiple joinpoints up to the number of grids without requirement to preassign the number of joinpoints and be easily extendable to cancer trend analysis utilizing large datasets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-822
Number of pages24
JournalStatistics in Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb 10

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (Ministry of Science and ICT) (NRF‐2017R1E1A1A0‐3070161, NRF‐2016R1C1B1008810, NRF‐2019R1H1A1079981, and NRF‐2020R1A2C1A01011584). The SEER data that support the findings of this study are available on request at . Finally, we thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions that improved the quality of the article.

Funding Information:
National Research Foundation of Korea, NRF‐2016R1C1B1008810; NRF‐2017R1E1A1A0‐3070161; NRF‐2019R1H1A1079981; NRF‐2020R1A2C1A01011584 Funding information

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Statistics and Probability


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