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Front Genet. 2014 May 16;5:123. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2014.00123. eCollection 2014.

Network Assessor: an automated method for quantitative assessment of a network's potential for gene function prediction.

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Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, University of Toronto Toronto, ON, Canada.


Significant effort has been invested in network-based gene function prediction algorithms based on the guilt by association (GBA) principle. Existing approaches for assessing prediction performance typically compute evaluation metrics, either averaged across all functions being considered, or strictly from properties of the network. Since the success of GBA algorithms depends on the specific function being predicted, evaluation metrics should instead be computed for each function. We describe a novel method for computing the usefulness of a network by measuring its impact on gene function cross validation prediction performance across all gene functions. We have implemented this in software called Network Assessor, and describe its use in the GeneMANIA (GM) quality control system. Network Assessor is part of the GM command line tools.


cross validation; function prediction; machine learning; network biology; network inference

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