Journal Article

A genetic programming approach for <i>Burkholderia Pseudomallei</i> diagnostic pattern discovery

Zheng Rong Yang, Ganjana Lertmemongkolchai, Gladys Tan, Philip L. Felgner and Richard Titball

in Bioinformatics

Volume 25, issue 17, pages 2256-2262
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 1367-4803
Published online June 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2059 | DOI:
A genetic programming approach for Burkholderia Pseudomallei diagnostic pattern discovery

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Motivation: Finding diagnostic patterns for fighting diseases like Burkholderia pseudomallei using biomarkers involves two key issues. First, exhausting all subsets of testable biomarkers (antigens in this context) to find a best one is computationally infeasible. Therefore, a proper optimization approach like evolutionary computation should be investigated. Second, a properly selected function of the antigens as the diagnostic pattern which is commonly unknown is a key to the diagnostic accuracy and the diagnostic effectiveness in clinical use.

Results: A conversion function is proposed to convert serum tests of antigens on patients to binary values based on which Boolean functions as the diagnostic patterns are developed. A genetic programming approach is designed for optimizing the diagnostic patterns in terms of their accuracy and effectiveness. During optimization, it is aimed to maximize the coverage (the rate of positive response to antigens) in the infected patients and minimize the coverage in the non-infected patients while maintaining the fewest number of testable antigens used in the Boolean functions as possible. The final coverage in the infected patients is 96.55% using 17 of 215 (7.4%) antigens with zero coverage in the non-infected patients. Among these 17 antigens, BPSL2697 is the most frequently selected one for the diagnosis of Burkholderia Pseudomallei. The approach has been evaluated using both the cross-validation and the Jack–knife simulation methods with the prediction accuracy as 93% and 92%, respectively. A novel approach is also proposed in this study to evaluate a model with binary data using ROC analysis.


Journal Article.  6226 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

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