In our previous study, we introduced stable specification search for cross-sectional data (S3C). It is an exploratory causal method that combines stability selection concept and multi-objective optimization to search for stable and parsimonious causal structures across the entire range of model complexities. In this study, we extended S3C to S3C-Latent, to model causal relations between latent variables. We evaluated S3C-Latent on simulated data and compared the results to those of PC-MIMBuild, an extension of the PC algorithm, the state-of-the-art causal discovery method. The comparison showed that S3C-Latent achieved better performance. We also applied S3C-Latent to real-world data of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and data about measuring mental abilities among pupils. The results are consistent with those of previous studies.
With simultaneous measurements from ever increasing populations of neurons, there is a growing need for sophisticated tools to recover signals from individual neurons. In electrophysiology experiments, this classically proceeds in a two-step process: (i) threshold the waveforms to detect putative spikes and (ii) cluster the waveforms into single units (neurons). We extend previous Bayesian nonparamet- ric models of neural spiking to jointly detect and cluster neurons using a Gamma process model. Importantly, we develop an online approximate inference scheme enabling real-time analysis, with performance exceeding the previous state-of-the- art. Via exploratory data analysis—using data with partial ground truth as well as two novel data sets—we find several features of our model collectively contribute to our improved performance including: (i) accounting for colored noise, (ii) de- tecting overlapping spikes, (iii) tracking waveform dynamics, and (iv) using mul- tiple channels. We hope to enable novel experiments simultaneously measuring many thousands of neurons and possibly adapting stimuli dynamically to probe ever deeper into the mysteries of the brain.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) coordinates a labor-intensive process to measure the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among children in the United States. Random forests methods have shown promise in speeding up this process, but they lag behind human classification accuracy by about 5 percent. We explore whether newer document classification algorithms can close this gap. We applied 6 supervised learning algorithms to predict whether children meet the case definition for ASD based solely on the words in their evaluations. We compared the algorithms? performance across 10 random train-test splits of the data, and then, we combined our top 3 classifiers to estimate the Bayes error rate in the data. Across the 10 train-test cycles, the random forest, neural network, and support vector machine with Naive Bayes features (NB-SVM) each achieved slightly more than 86.5 percent mean accuracy. The Bayes error rate is estimated at approximately 12 percent meaning that the model error for even the simplest of our algorithms, the random forest, is below 2 percent. NB-SVM produced significantly more false positives than false negatives. The random forest performed as well as newer models like the NB-SVM and the neural network. NB-SVM may not be a good candidate for use in a fully-automated surveillance workflow due to increased false positives. More sophisticated algorithms, like hierarchical convolutional neural networks, would not perform substantially better due to characteristics of the data. Deep learning models performed similarly to traditional machine learning methods at predicting the clinician-assigned case status for CDC's autism surveillance system. While deep learning methods had limited benefit in this task, they may have applications in other surveillance systems.
Feature selection is among the most important components because it not only helps enhance the classification accuracy, but also or even more important provides potential biomarker discovery. However, traditional multivariate methods is likely to obtain unstable and unreliable results in case of an extremely high dimensional feature space and very limited training samples, where the features are often correlated or redundant. In order to improve the stability, generalization and interpretations of the discovered potential biomarker and enhance the robustness of the resultant classifier, the redundant but informative features need to be also selected. Therefore we introduced a novel feature selection method which combines a recent implementation of the stability selection approach and the elastic net approach. The advantage in terms of better control of false discoveries and missed discoveries of our approach, and the resulted better interpretability of the obtained potential biomarker is verified in both synthetic and real fMRI experiments. In addition, we are among the first to demonstrate the robustness of feature selection benefiting from the incorporation of stability selection and also among the first to demonstrate the possible unrobustness of the classical univariate two-sample t-test method. Specifically, we show the robustness of our feature selection results in existence of noisy (wrong) training labels, as well as the robustness of the resulted classifier based on our feature selection results in the existence of data variation, demonstrated by a multi-center attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) fMRI data.
Early detection is a crucial goal in the study of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). In this work, we describe several techniques to boost the performance of 3D convolutional neural networks trained to detect AD using structural brain MRI scans. Specifically, we provide evidence that (1) instance normalization outperforms batch normalization, (2) early spatial downsampling negatively affects performance, (3) widening the model brings consistent gains while increasing the depth does not, and (4) incorporating age information yields moderate improvement. Together, these insights yield an increment of approximately 14% in test accuracy over existing models when distinguishing between patients with AD, mild cognitive impairment, and controls in the ADNI dataset. Similar performance is achieved on an independent dataset.