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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 24;8(6):e67410. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067410. Print 2013.

Boosting probabilistic graphical model inference by incorporating prior knowledge from multiple sources.

Author information

  • 1University of Bonn, Bonn-Aachen International Center for IT, Bonn, Germany. praveen@bit.uni-bonn.de

Abstract

Inferring regulatory networks from experimental data via probabilistic graphical models is a popular framework to gain insights into biological systems. However, the inherent noise in experimental data coupled with a limited sample size reduces the performance of network reverse engineering. Prior knowledge from existing sources of biological information can address this low signal to noise problem by biasing the network inference towards biologically plausible network structures. Although integrating various sources of information is desirable, their heterogeneous nature makes this task challenging. We propose two computational methods to incorporate various information sources into a probabilistic consensus structure prior to be used in graphical model inference. Our first model, called Latent Factor Model (LFM), assumes a high degree of correlation among external information sources and reconstructs a hidden variable as a common source in a Bayesian manner. The second model, a Noisy-OR, picks up the strongest support for an interaction among information sources in a probabilistic fashion. Our extensive computational studies on KEGG signaling pathways as well as on gene expression data from breast cancer and yeast heat shock response reveal that both approaches can significantly enhance the reconstruction accuracy of Bayesian Networks compared to other competing methods as well as to the situation without any prior. Our framework allows for using diverse information sources, like pathway databases, GO terms and protein domain data, etc. and is flexible enough to integrate new sources, if available.

PMID:
23826291
PMCID:
PMC3691143
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0067410
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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