Joint Gaussian Graphical Model for multi-class and multi-level data
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Gaussian graphical model has been a popular tool to investigate conditional dependency between random variables by estimating sparse precision matrices. The estimated precision matrices could be mapped into networks for visualization. For related but different classes, jointly estimating networks by taking advantage of common structure across classes can help us better estimate conditional dependencies among variables. Furthermore, there may exist multilevel structure among variables; some variables are considered as higher level variables and others are nested in these higher level variables, which are called lower level variables. In this dissertation, we made several contributions to the area of joint estimation of Gaussian graphical models across heterogeneous classes: the first is to propose a joint estimation method for estimating Gaussian graphical models across unbalanced multi-classes, whereas the second considers multilevel variable information during the joint estimation procedure and simultaneously estimates higher level network and lower level network. For the first project, we consider the problem of jointly estimating Gaussian graphical models across unbalanced multi-class. Most existing methods require equal or similar sample size among classes. However, many real applications do not have similar sample sizes. Hence, in this dissertation, we propose the joint adaptive graphical lasso, a weighted L1 penalized approach, for unbalanced multi-class problems. Our joint adaptive graphical lasso approach combines information across classes so that their common characteristics can be shared during the estimation process. We also introduce regularization into the adaptive term so that the unbalancedness of data is taken into account. Simulation studies show that our approach performs better than existing methods in terms of false positive rate, accuracy, Mathews correlation coefficient, and false discovery rate. We demonstrate the advantage of our approach using liver cancer data set. For the second one, we propose a method to jointly estimate the multilevel Gaussian graphical models across multiple classes. Currently, methods are still limited to investigate a single level conditional dependency structure when there exists the multilevel structure among variables. Due to the fact that higher level variables may work together to accomplish certain tasks, simultaneously exploring conditional dependency structures among higher level variables and among lower level variables are of our main interest. Given multilevel data from heterogeneous classes, our method assures that common structures in terms of the multilevel conditional dependency are shared during the estimation procedure, yet unique structures for each class are retained as well. Our proposed approach is achieved by first introducing a higher level variable factor within a class, and then common factors across classes. The performance of our approach is evaluated on several simulated networks. We also demonstrate the advantage of our approach using breast cancer patient data.
- Doctoral Dissertations