Two-pass imputation algorithm for missing value estimation in gene expression time series

Elena Tsiporkova, Veselka Boeva
Journal of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology 2007, 5 (5): 1005-22
Gene expression microarray experiments frequently generate datasets with multiple values missing. However, most of the analysis, mining, and classification methods for gene expression data require a complete matrix of gene array values. Therefore, the accurate estimation of missing values in such datasets has been recognized as an important issue, and several imputation algorithms have already been proposed to the biological community. Most of these approaches, however, are not particularly suitable for time series expression profiles. In view of this, we propose a novel imputation algorithm, which is specially suited for the estimation of missing values in gene expression time series data. The algorithm utilizes Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) distance in order to measure the similarity between time expression profiles, and subsequently selects for each gene expression profile with missing values a dedicated set of candidate profiles for estimation. Three different DTW-based imputation (DTWimpute) algorithms have been considered: position-wise, neighborhood-wise, and two-pass imputation. These have initially been prototyped in Perl, and their accuracy has been evaluated on yeast expression time series data using several different parameter settings. The experiments have shown that the two-pass algorithm consistently outperforms, in particular for datasets with a higher level of missing entries, the neighborhood-wise and the position-wise algorithms. The performance of the two-pass DTWimpute algorithm has further been benchmarked against the weighted K-Nearest Neighbors algorithm, which is widely used in the biological community; the former algorithm has appeared superior to the latter one. Motivated by these findings, indicating clearly the added value of the DTW techniques for missing value estimation in time series data, we have built an optimized C++ implementation of the two-pass DTWimpute algorithm. The software also provides for a choice between three different initial rough imputation methods.

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