Ensemble positive unlabeled learning for disease gene identification
Date of Issue2014
School of Computer Engineering
Bioinformatics Research Centre
An increasing number of genes have been experimentally confirmed in recent years as causative genes to various human diseases. The newly available knowledge can be exploited by machine learning methods to discover additional unknown genes that are likely to be associated with diseases. In particular, positive unlabeled learning (PU learning) methods, which require only a positive training set P (confirmed disease genes) and an unlabeled set U (the unknown candidate genes) instead of a negative training set N, have been shown to be effective in uncovering new disease genes in the current scenario. Using only a single source of data for prediction can be susceptible to bias due to incompleteness and noise in the genomic data and a single machine learning predictor prone to bias caused by inherent limitations of individual methods. In this paper, we propose an effective PU learning framework that integrates multiple biological data sources and an ensemble of powerful machine learning classifiers for disease gene identification. Our proposed method integrates data from multiple biological sources for training PU learning classifiers. A novel ensemble-based PU learning method EPU is then used to integrate multiple PU learning classifiers to achieve accurate and robust disease gene predictions. Our evaluation experiments across six disease groups showed that EPU achieved significantly better results compared with various state-of-the-art prediction methods as well as ensemble learning classifiers. Through integrating multiple biological data sources for training and the outputs of an ensemble of PU learning classifiers for prediction, we are able to minimize the potential bias and errors in individual data sources and machine learning algorithms to achieve more accurate and robust disease gene predictions. In the future, our EPU method provides an effective framework to integrate the additional biological and computational resources for better disease gene predictions.
DRNTU::Engineering::Computer science and engineering
© 2014 Yang et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.