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Abstract:Changepoint detection, a technique for identifying significant shifts within data sequences, is crucial in various fields such as finance, genomics, medicine, etc. Dynamic programming changepoint detection algorithms are employed to identify the locations of changepoints within a sequence, which rely on a penalty parameter to regulate the number of changepoints. To estimate this penalty parameter, previous work uses simple models such as linear models or decision trees. This study introduces a novel deep learning method for predicting penalty parameters, leading to demonstrably improved changepoint detection accuracy on large benchmark supervised labeled datasets compared to previous methods.

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Abstract:Microorganisms are found in almost every environment, including the soil, water, air, and inside other organisms, like animals and plants. While some microorganisms cause diseases, most of them help in biological processes such as decomposition, fermentation and nutrient cycling. A lot of research has gone into studying microbial communities in various environments and how their interactions and relationships can provide insights into various diseases. Co-occurrence network inference algorithms help us understand the complex associations of micro-organisms, especially bacteria. Existing network inference algorithms employ techniques such as correlation, regularized linear regression, and conditional dependence, which have different hyper-parameters that determine the sparsity of the network. Previous methods for evaluating the quality of the inferred network include using external data, and network consistency across sub-samples, both which have several drawbacks that limit their applicability in real microbiome composition data sets. We propose a novel cross-validation method to evaluate co-occurrence network inference algorithms, and new methods for applying existing algorithms to predict on test data. Our empirical study shows that the proposed method is useful for hyper-parameter selection (training) and comparing the quality of the inferred networks between different algorithms (testing).

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Abstract:Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves are plots of true positive rate versus false positive rate which are useful for evaluating binary classification models, but difficult to use for learning since the Area Under the Curve (AUC) is non-convex. ROC curves can also be used in other problems that have false positive and true positive rates such as changepoint detection. We show that in this more general context, the ROC curve can have loops, points with highly sub-optimal error rates, and AUC greater than one. This observation motivates a new optimization objective: rather than maximizing the AUC, we would like a monotonic ROC curve with AUC=1 that avoids points with large values for Min(FP,FN). We propose a convex relaxation of this objective that results in a new surrogate loss function called the AUM, short for Area Under Min(FP, FN). Whereas previous loss functions are based on summing over all labeled examples or pairs, the AUM requires a sort and a sum over the sequence of points on the ROC curve. We show that AUM directional derivatives can be efficiently computed and used in a gradient descent learning algorithm. In our empirical study of supervised binary classification and changepoint detection problems, we show that our new AUM minimization learning algorithm results in improved AUC and comparable speed relative to previous baselines.

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Abstract:Motivation: Histone modification constitutes a basic mechanism for the genetic regulation of gene expression. In early 2000s, a powerful technique has emerged that couples chromatin immunoprecipitation with high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq). This technique provides a direct survey of the DNA regions associated to these modifications. In order to realize the full potential of this technique, increasingly sophisticated statistical algorithms have been developed or adapted to analyze the massive amount of data it generates. Many of these algorithms were built around natural assumptions such as the Poisson one to model the noise in the count data. In this work we start from these natural assumptions and show that it is possible to improve upon them. Results: The results of our comparisons on seven reference datasets of histone modifications (H3K36me3 and H3K4me3) suggest that natural assumptions are not always realistic under application conditions. We show that the unconstrained multiple changepoint detection model, with alternative noise assumptions and a suitable setup, reduces the over-dispersion exhibited by count data and turns out to detect peaks more accurately than algorithms which rely on these natural assumptions.

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Abstract:In data sequences measured over space or time, an important problem is accurate detection of abrupt changes. In partially labeled data, it is important to correctly predict presence/absence of changes in positive/negative labeled regions, in both the train and test sets. One existing dynamic programming algorithm is designed for prediction in unlabeled test regions (and ignores the labels in the train set); another is for accurate fitting of train labels (but does not predict changepoints in unlabeled test regions). We resolve these issues by proposing a new optimal changepoint detection model that is guaranteed to fit the labels in the train data, and can also provide predictions of unlabeled changepoints in test data. We propose a new dynamic programming algorithm, Labeled Optimal Partitioning (LOPART), and we provide a formal proof that it solves the resulting non-convex optimization problem. We provide theoretical and empirical analysis of the time complexity of our algorithm, in terms of the number of labels and the size of the data sequence to segment. Finally, we provide empirical evidence that our algorithm is more accurate than the existing baselines, in terms of train and test label error.

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Abstract:Survival regression is used to estimate the relation between time-to-event and feature variables, and is important in application domains such as medicine, marketing, risk management and sales management. Nonlinear tree based machine learning algorithms as implemented in libraries such as XGBoost, scikit-learn, LightGBM, and CatBoost are often more accurate in practice than linear models. However, existing implementations of tree-based models have offered limited support for survival regression. In this work, we propose and implement loss functions for learning accelerated failure time (AFT) models in XGBoost, to increase the support for survival modeling for different kinds of label censoring. The AFT model assumes effects that directly accelerate or decelerate the survival time for different kinds of censored data sets. We demonstrate with real and simulated experiments the effectiveness of AFT in XGBoost with respect to a number of baselines, in two respects: generalization performance and training speed. Furthermore, we take advantage of the support for NVIDIA GPUs in XGBoost to achieve substantial speedup over multi-coreCPUs. To our knowledge, our work is the first implementation of AFT that utilizes the processing power of NVIDIA GPUs.

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Abstract:In ranking problems, the goal is to learn a ranking function from labeled pairs of input points. In this paper, we consider the related comparison problem, where the label indicates which element of the pair is better, or if there is no significant difference. We cast the learning problem as a margin maximization, and show that it can be solved by converting it to a standard SVM. We use simulated nonlinear patterns, a real learning to rank sushi data set, and a chess data set to show that our proposed SVMcompare algorithm outperforms SVMrank when there are equality pairs.

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Abstract:Learning a regression function using censored or interval-valued output data is an important problem in fields such as genomics and medicine. The goal is to learn a real-valued prediction function, and the training output labels indicate an interval of possible values. Whereas most existing algorithms for this task are linear models, in this paper we investigate learning nonlinear tree models. We propose to learn a tree by minimizing a margin-based discriminative objective function, and we provide a dynamic programming algorithm for computing the optimal solution in log-linear time. We show empirically that this algorithm achieves state-of-the-art speed and prediction accuracy in a benchmark of several data sets.

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Abstract:Changepoint detection is a central problem in time series and genomic data. For some applications, it is natural to impose constraints on the directions of changes. One example is ChIP-seq data, for which adding an up-down constraint improves peak detection accuracy, but makes the optimization problem more complicated. We show how a recently proposed functional pruning technique can be adapted to solve such constrained changepoint detection problems. This leads to a new algorithm which can solve problems with arbitrary affine constraints on adjacent segment means, and which has empirical time complexity that is log-linear in the amount of data. This algorithm achieves state-of-the-art accuracy in a benchmark of several genomic data sets, and is orders of magnitude faster than existing algorithms that have similar accuracy. Our implementation is available as the PeakSegPDPA function in the coseg R package, https://github.com/tdhock/coseg

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Abstract:Joint peak detection is a central problem when comparing samples in genomic data analysis, but current algorithms for this task are unsupervised and limited to at most 2 sample types. We propose PeakSegJoint, a new constrained maximum likelihood segmentation model for any number of sample types. To select the number of peaks in the segmentation, we propose a supervised penalty learning model. To infer the parameters of these two models, we propose to use a discrete optimization heuristic for the segmentation, and convex optimization for the penalty learning. In comparisons with state-of-the-art peak detection algorithms, PeakSegJoint achieves similar accuracy, faster speeds, and a more interpretable model with overlapping peaks that occur in exactly the same positions across all samples.

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