This blog describes a potential point to add to the case against automatic selection [1,2]. Please consider two bottom line questions up front.
 Do any other empirical examples exist of automatic selection not being tractable for series of regression equations involving transformed Y variables?
 Do examples exist of other forms of multivariate regression or longitudinal data analysis producing curves similar to acceptability curves?
Introduction to netbenefit regression
A useful way to present economic evaluation results is through costeffectiveness acceptability curves since they consider a range of ceiling ratios [35]. Regression methods for economic evaluation are proliferating [68], and netbenefit regression (NBR) can generate these curves using pvalues from the coefficient associated with a binary X representing intervention versus comparison groups [6]. NBR uses the netbenefit statistic as its dependent variable [9], which incorporates a constant called the ceiling ratio, or decision threshold representing a valuation of each unit of effect. Because consensus does not exist about ceiling ratio definitions [10,11], acceptability curves provide a useful method for presenting results [3,4] (and can have different shapes [5]). Generating acceptability curves involves using a separate regression equation for each point along the curve, with each associated with a different value for the ceiling ratio [6].
My finding and question
My research illustrates a point that supplements other rationale for not using automatic selection [1,2], contributing that may contribute to current discussion [12]. Backwards stepwise selection procedures generate different sets of independent variables for equations at different points of the curve, at least in my data, rendering points inconsistent with others. The resulting curve resembles white noise, not an interpretable irregularity [5]. I think that this finding relates to the netbenefit statistic involving a constant. Do any empirical examples exist of automatic selection not being tractable for series of regression equations involving transformed Y variables in other contexts?
Clues I have found
I have found that some monotonic transformations involve Pi as a constant [13], although Pi would not vary along the axis of a curve. Van Belle et al. [14] cite several examples of multivariate regression such as systolic and diastolic blood pressure, but they are not linked with a transformation. Do examples exist of other forms of multivariate regression or longitudinal data analysis producing curves similar to acceptability curves?
Relevance
Most scientific research is biased, particularly studies with flexible methodologies [15]. Given the array of methods available for economic evaluation [3,4], and variation in how they are applied in practice [1619], this point against automatic selection may increase in relevance as regressionbased approaches proliferate. Past trends and perspectives about use of new statistical methods in medical literature [20] provide important considerations.
Thank you for any feedback. If this finding is new, I would like to publish it, followed by a corrected version of the main result from the research [21]. I did not use automatic selection for these acceptability curves, but there is a problem with my use of an instrumental variable (a separate topic). My revised conceptual framework also applies to my other paper [22] given its risk of bias due to bivariable screening [23].
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