Learning sparse log-ratios for high-throughput sequencing data
In the context of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) data, and compositional data (CoDa) more generally, an important class of biomarkers are the log-ratios between the input variables. However, identifying predictive log-ratio biomarkers from HTS data is a combinatorial optimization problem, which is computationally challenging. Existing methods are slow to run and scale poorly with the dimension of the input, which has limited their application to low- and moderate-dimensional metagenomic datasets. Building on recent advances from the field of deep learning, we develop CoDaCoRe, a novel learning algorithm that identifies sparse, interpretable, and predictive log-ratio biomarkers. Our algorithm exploits a continuous relaxation to approximate the underlying combinatorial optimization problem. This relaxation can then be optimized efficiently using the modern ML toolbox, in particular, gradient descent. As a result, CoDaCoRe runs several orders of magnitude faster than competing methods, all while achieving state-of-the-art performance in terms of predictive accuracy and sparsity.
Intellectual climate Fund
- School of Life Sciences