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IEEE/ACM Trans Comput Biol Bioinform. 2013 May-Jun;10(3):593-604. doi: 10.1109/TCBB.2013.70.

Comparison of feature selection methods for cross-laboratory microarray analysis.

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Mackay Medical College and Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Mackay Memorial Hospital, New Taipei.


The amount of gene expression data of microarray has grown exponentially. To apply them for extensive studies, integrated analysis of cross-laboratory (cross-lab) data becomes a trend, and thus, choosing an appropriate feature selection method is an essential issue. This paper focuses on feature selection for Affymetrix (Affy) microarray studies across different labs. We investigate four feature selection methods: $(t)$-test, significance analysis of microarrays (SAM), rank products (RP), and random forest (RF). The four methods are applied to acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, breast cancer, and lung cancer Affy data which consist of three cross-lab data sets each. We utilize a rank-based normalization method to reduce the bias from cross-lab data sets. Training on one data set or two combined data sets to test the remaining data set(s) are both considered. Balanced accuracy is used for prediction evaluation. This study provides comprehensive comparisons of the four feature selection methods in cross-lab microarray analysis. Results show that SAM has the best classification performance. RF also gets high classification accuracy, but it is not as stable as SAM. The most naive method is $(t)$-test, but its performance is the worst among the four methods. In this study, we further discuss the influence from the number of training samples, the number of selected genes, and the issue of unbalanced data sets.

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