The area under a receiver operating characteristic curve is a useful index of the accuracy of a diagnostic test. When the diagnostic ability of a new biomarker is of interest only in a certain range of specificity, the partial area under the curve becomes desirable. In this article, we extend Bomber's (1975) results and show that the partial area under a receiver operating characteristic curve is the probability of a constrained stochastic ordering. We then construct a 'weighted' Mann-Whitney statistic as an estimator of the partial area and investigate its statistical properties. A testing procedure is also developed to compare partial area under two receiver operating characteristic curves. The methods are exemplified with data from biomarkers associated with coronary heart disease.
- Accuracy of diagnostic tests
- Mann-Whitney statistics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistics and Probability
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality