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Ensemble-based prediction of RNA secondary structures.

Aghaeepour N, Hoos HH - BMC Bioinformatics (2013)

Bottom Line: Despite the impressive progress that as been achieved in this area, existing evaluations of the prediction accuracy achieved by various algorithms do not provide a comprehensive, statistically sound assessment.In addition, AveRNA allows an intuitive and effective control of the trade-off between false negative and false positive base pair predictions.Finally, AveRNA can make use of arbitrary sets of secondary structure prediction procedures and can therefore be used to leverage improvements in prediction accuracy offered by algorithms and energy models developed in the future.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Computer Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada. hoos@cs.ubc.ca

ABSTRACT

Background: Accurate structure prediction methods play an important role for the understanding of RNA function. Energy-based, pseudoknot-free secondary structure prediction is one of the most widely used and versatile approaches, and improved methods for this task have received much attention over the past five years. Despite the impressive progress that as been achieved in this area, existing evaluations of the prediction accuracy achieved by various algorithms do not provide a comprehensive, statistically sound assessment. Furthermore, while there is increasing evidence that no prediction algorithm consistently outperforms all others, no work has been done to exploit the complementary strengths of multiple approaches.

Results: In this work, we present two contributions to the area of RNA secondary structure prediction. Firstly, we use state-of-the-art, resampling-based statistical methods together with a previously published and increasingly widely used dataset of high-quality RNA structures to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of existing RNA secondary structure prediction procedures. The results from this evaluation clarify the performance relationship between ten well-known existing energy-based pseudoknot-free RNA secondary structure prediction methods and clearly demonstrate the progress that has been achieved in recent years. Secondly, we introduce AveRNA, a generic and powerful method for combining a set of existing secondary structure prediction procedures into an ensemble-based method that achieves significantly higher prediction accuracies than obtained from any of its component procedures.

Conclusions: Our new, ensemble-based method, AveRNA, improves the state of the art for energy-based, pseudoknot-free RNA secondary structure prediction by exploiting the complementary strengths of multiple existing prediction procedures, as demonstrated using a state-of-the-art statistical resampling approach. In addition, AveRNA allows an intuitive and effective control of the trade-off between false negative and false positive base pair predictions. Finally, AveRNA can make use of arbitrary sets of secondary structure prediction procedures and can therefore be used to leverage improvements in prediction accuracy offered by algorithms and energy models developed in the future. Our data, MATLAB software and a web-based version of AveRNA are publicly available at http://www.cs.ubc.ca/labs/beta/Software/AveRNA.

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Scatter plot of F-measures of T99 and CONTRAfold 1.1. Correlation between the F-measure achieved by T99 and CONTRAfold 1.1 on the RNAs from the S-STRAND2 dataset. The mean F-measures of these algorithms are not significantly different, but prediction accuracy on individual RNAs is only weakly correlated.
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Figure 2: Scatter plot of F-measures of T99 and CONTRAfold 1.1. Correlation between the F-measure achieved by T99 and CONTRAfold 1.1 on the RNAs from the S-STRAND2 dataset. The mean F-measures of these algorithms are not significantly different, but prediction accuracy on individual RNAs is only weakly correlated.

Mentions: For an ensemble-based approach like AveRNA to work well, the set of component prediction algorithms need to have complementary strengths, as reflected in less-than perfect correlation of prediction accuracy over sets of RNA sequences. As can be seen in Table2, the pairwise performance correlation between the procedures we considered in our study is not very strong (as indicated by Spearmann corelation coefficients between 0.66 and 0.86). Figures2 and3 illustrate this further by showing the correlation in F-measure across our set of RNAs for the two pairs of algorithms whose average performance does not differ significantly, T99 and CONTRAfold 1.1, and CONTRAfold 2.0 and NOM-CG, respectively. (In these scatter plots, each data point corresponds to one RNA from our S-STRAND2 set.)


Ensemble-based prediction of RNA secondary structures.

Aghaeepour N, Hoos HH - BMC Bioinformatics (2013)

Scatter plot of F-measures of T99 and CONTRAfold 1.1. Correlation between the F-measure achieved by T99 and CONTRAfold 1.1 on the RNAs from the S-STRAND2 dataset. The mean F-measures of these algorithms are not significantly different, but prediction accuracy on individual RNAs is only weakly correlated.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3750279&req=5

Figure 2: Scatter plot of F-measures of T99 and CONTRAfold 1.1. Correlation between the F-measure achieved by T99 and CONTRAfold 1.1 on the RNAs from the S-STRAND2 dataset. The mean F-measures of these algorithms are not significantly different, but prediction accuracy on individual RNAs is only weakly correlated.
Mentions: For an ensemble-based approach like AveRNA to work well, the set of component prediction algorithms need to have complementary strengths, as reflected in less-than perfect correlation of prediction accuracy over sets of RNA sequences. As can be seen in Table2, the pairwise performance correlation between the procedures we considered in our study is not very strong (as indicated by Spearmann corelation coefficients between 0.66 and 0.86). Figures2 and3 illustrate this further by showing the correlation in F-measure across our set of RNAs for the two pairs of algorithms whose average performance does not differ significantly, T99 and CONTRAfold 1.1, and CONTRAfold 2.0 and NOM-CG, respectively. (In these scatter plots, each data point corresponds to one RNA from our S-STRAND2 set.)

Bottom Line: Despite the impressive progress that as been achieved in this area, existing evaluations of the prediction accuracy achieved by various algorithms do not provide a comprehensive, statistically sound assessment.In addition, AveRNA allows an intuitive and effective control of the trade-off between false negative and false positive base pair predictions.Finally, AveRNA can make use of arbitrary sets of secondary structure prediction procedures and can therefore be used to leverage improvements in prediction accuracy offered by algorithms and energy models developed in the future.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Computer Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada. hoos@cs.ubc.ca

ABSTRACT

Background: Accurate structure prediction methods play an important role for the understanding of RNA function. Energy-based, pseudoknot-free secondary structure prediction is one of the most widely used and versatile approaches, and improved methods for this task have received much attention over the past five years. Despite the impressive progress that as been achieved in this area, existing evaluations of the prediction accuracy achieved by various algorithms do not provide a comprehensive, statistically sound assessment. Furthermore, while there is increasing evidence that no prediction algorithm consistently outperforms all others, no work has been done to exploit the complementary strengths of multiple approaches.

Results: In this work, we present two contributions to the area of RNA secondary structure prediction. Firstly, we use state-of-the-art, resampling-based statistical methods together with a previously published and increasingly widely used dataset of high-quality RNA structures to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of existing RNA secondary structure prediction procedures. The results from this evaluation clarify the performance relationship between ten well-known existing energy-based pseudoknot-free RNA secondary structure prediction methods and clearly demonstrate the progress that has been achieved in recent years. Secondly, we introduce AveRNA, a generic and powerful method for combining a set of existing secondary structure prediction procedures into an ensemble-based method that achieves significantly higher prediction accuracies than obtained from any of its component procedures.

Conclusions: Our new, ensemble-based method, AveRNA, improves the state of the art for energy-based, pseudoknot-free RNA secondary structure prediction by exploiting the complementary strengths of multiple existing prediction procedures, as demonstrated using a state-of-the-art statistical resampling approach. In addition, AveRNA allows an intuitive and effective control of the trade-off between false negative and false positive base pair predictions. Finally, AveRNA can make use of arbitrary sets of secondary structure prediction procedures and can therefore be used to leverage improvements in prediction accuracy offered by algorithms and energy models developed in the future. Our data, MATLAB software and a web-based version of AveRNA are publicly available at http://www.cs.ubc.ca/labs/beta/Software/AveRNA.

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