carat: An R Package for Covariate-Adaptive Randomization in Clinical Trials

Wei Ma, Xiaoqing Ye, Fuyi Tu, Feifang Hu

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Covariate-adaptive randomization is gaining popularity in clinical trials because they enable the generation of balanced allocations with respect to covariates. Over the past decade, substantial progress has been made in both new innovative randomization procedures and the theoretical properties of associated inferences. However, these results are scattered across the literature, and a single tool kit does not exist for use by clinical trial practitioners and researchers to conduct and evaluate these methods. The R package carat is proposed to address this need. It facilitates a broad range of covariate-adaptive randomization and testing procedures, such as the most common and classical methods, and also reflects recent developments in the field. The package contains comprehensive evaluation and comparison tools for use in both randomization procedures and tests. This enables power analysis to be conducted to assist the planning of a covariate-adaptive clinical trial. The package also implements a command-line interface to allow for an interactive allocation procedure, which is typically the case in real-world applications. In this paper, the features and functionalities of carat are presented.

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