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Evaluating the Performance of Random Forest and Iterative Random Forest Based Methods when Applied to Gene Expression Data

Publication Type
Journal Name
Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
Publication Date
Page Numbers
3372 to 3386

Gene-to-gene networks, such as Gene Regulatory Networks (GRN) and Predictive Expression Networks (PEN) capture relationships between genes and are beneficial for use in downstream biological analyses. There exists multiple network inference tools to produce these gene-to-gene networks from matrices of gene expression data. Random Forest-Leave One Out Prediction (RF-LOOP) is a method that has been shown to be efficient at producing these gene-to-gene networks, frequently known as GEne Network Inference with Ensemble of trees (GENIE3). Random Forest can be replaced in this process by iterative Random Forest (iRF), which performs variable selection and boosting. Here we validate that iterative Random Forest-Leave One Out Prediction (iRF-LOOP) produces higher quality networks than GENIE3 (RF-LOOP). We use both synthetic and empirical networks from the Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessment and Methods (DREAM) Challenges by Sage Bionetworks, as well as two additional empirical networks created from Arabidopsis thaliana and Populus trichocarpa expression data.