THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Research Methodology Methods
Developing an online infrastructure to enhance model accessibility and validation: The Peer Models Network
Background: In decision modeling, a movement is underway to increase transparency, with initiatives ranging from sharing model structure and code (Open-Source Modeling) to identifying social and ethical value judgments in modeling processes. The goals of increasing transparency are many, but include facilitating model validation. One strategy to enhance model transparency and validation would be to create online infrastructure that supports the interplay between emerging aspects of decision modeling, including model accessibility and stakeholder involvement in modeling.
Methods: We developed a model-accessibility service, website, Twitter, and YouTube page collectively known as the Peer Models Network, which was launched in July 2020. The development of the model-accessibility service centered around a new technical infrastructure that allows for models to be hosted on a publicly accessible cloud platform. We invited feedback on the Peer Models Network website and resources through an evaluation survey, which was sent by email to stakeholders in healthcare modeling. We used descriptive statistics to analyze quantitative data and content analysis to analyze qualitative data from the survey.
Results: The Peer Models Network website is accessible at www.peermodelsnetwork.com, where it currently hosts seventeen Open-Source Models. The majority of survey respondents said they ‘Strongly Agree’ that the Peer Models Network should continue to host Open-Source Models (77%) and to produce videos about modeling (68%). Qualitative feedback on each of the website components was mixed, with many respondents suggesting changes.
Conclusions: Based on project results, future efforts will focus on hosting Open-Source models, developing educational videos, and fostering stakeholder involvement in modeling.