Bayesian and mixed Bayesian/likelihood criteria for sample size determination
Joseph, L.; du Berger, R.; Bélisle, P.
Statistics in Medicine 16(7): 769-781
Sample size estimation is a major component of the design of virtually every experiment in medicine. Prudent use of the available prior information is a crucial element of experimental planning. Most sample size formulae in current use employ this information only in the form of point estimates, even though it is usually more accurately expressed as a distribution over a range of values. In this paper, we review several Bayesian and mixed Bayesian/likelihood approaches to sample size calculations based on lengths and coverages of posterior credible intervals. We apply these approaches to the design of an experiment to estimate the difference between two binomial proportions, and we compare results to those derived from standard formulae. Consideration of several criteria can contribute to selection of a final sample size.