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Bioinformatics. 2003 Jun 12;19(9):1061-9.

Boosting for tumor classification with gene expression data.

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  • 1Seminar für Statistik, ETH Zürich, CH-8092, Switzerland. dettling@stat.math.ethz.ch



Microarray experiments generate large datasets with expression values for thousands of genes but not more than a few dozens of samples. Accurate supervised classification of tissue samples in such high-dimensional problems is difficult but often crucial for successful diagnosis and treatment. A promising way to meet this challenge is by using boosting in conjunction with decision trees.


We demonstrate that the generic boosting algorithm needs some modification to become an accurate classifier in the context of gene expression data. In particular, we present a feature preselection method, a more robust boosting procedure and a new approach for multi-categorical problems. This allows for slight to drastic increase in performance and yields competitive results on several publicly available datasets.


Software for the modified boosting algorithms as well as for decision trees is available for free in R at http://stat.ethz.ch/~dettling/boosting.html.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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