A Regularized Method for Selecting Nested Groups of Relevant Genes from Microarray Data

Research paper by Christine De Mol, Sofia Mosci, Magali Traskine, Alessandro Verri

Indexed on: 10 Sep '08Published on: 10 Sep '08Published in: Statistics - Methodology


Gene expression analysis aims at identifying the genes able to accurately predict biological parameters like, for example, disease subtyping or progression. While accurate prediction can be achieved by means of many different techniques, gene identification, due to gene correlation and the limited number of available samples, is a much more elusive problem. Small changes in the expression values often produce different gene lists, and solutions which are both sparse and stable are difficult to obtain. We propose a two-stage regularization method able to learn linear models characterized by a high prediction performance. By varying a suitable parameter these linear models allow to trade sparsity for the inclusion of correlated genes and to produce gene lists which are almost perfectly nested. Experimental results on synthetic and microarray data confirm the interesting properties of the proposed method and its potential as a starting point for further biological investigations