DETECTING CANCER-RELATED GENES AND GENE-GENE INTERACTIONS BY MACHINE LEARNING METHODS
University of Kansas
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
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To understand the underlying molecular mechanisms of cancer and therefore to improve pathogenesis, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, it is necessary to explore the activities of cancer-related genes and the interactions among these genes. In this dissertation, I use machine learning and computational methods to identify differential gene relations and detect gene-gene interactions. To identify gene pairs that have different relationships in normal versus cancer tissues, I develop an integrative method based on the bootstrapping K-S test to evaluate a large number of microarray datasets. The experimental results demonstrate that my method can find meaningful alterations in gene relations. For gene-gene interaction detection, I propose to use two Bayesian Network based methods: DASSO-MB (Detection of ASSOciations using Markov Blanket) and EpiBN (Epistatic interaction detection using Bayesian Network model) to address the two critical challenges: searching and scoring. DASSO-MB is based on the concept of Markov Blanket in Bayesian Networks. In EpiBN, I develop a new scoring function, which can reflect higher-order gene-gene interactions and detect the true number of disease markers, and apply a fast Branch-and-Bound (B&B) algorithm to learn the structure of Bayesian Network. Both DASSO-MB and EpiBN outperform some other commonly-used methods and are scalable to genome-wide data.
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