This paper explores an approach to Bayesian sample size determination in clinical trials. The approach falls into the category of what is often called “proper Bayesian”, in that it does not mix frequentist concepts with Bayesian ones. A criterion for a “successful trial” is defined in terms of a posterior probability, its probability is assessed using the marginal distribution of the data, and this probability forms the basis for choosing sample sizes. We illustrate with a standard problem in clinical trials, that of establishing superiority of a new drug over a control.
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/12-IMSCOLL1007