Background: Identification of functionally important sites in biomolecular sequences has broad applications ranging from rational drug design to the analysis of metabolic and signal transduction networks. Experimental determination of such sites lags far behind the number of known biomolecular sequences. Hence, there is a need to develop reliable computational methods for identifying functionally important sites from biomolecular sequences.
Results: We present a mixture of experts approach to biomolecular sequence labeling that takes into account the global similarity between biomolecular sequences. Our approach combines unsupervised and supervised learning techniques. Given a set of sequences and a similarity measure defined on pairs of sequences, we learn a mixture of experts model by using spectral clustering to learn the hierarchical structure of the model and by using bayesian techniques to combine the predictions of the experts. We evaluate our approach on two biomolecular sequence labeling problems: RNA-protein and DNA-protein interface prediction problems. The results of our experiments show that global sequence similarity can be exploited to improve the performance of classifiers trained to label biomolecular sequence data.
Conclusion: The mixture of experts model helps improve the performance of machine learning methods for identifying functionally important sites in biomolecular sequences.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/drena-dobbs/45/