FrankSum: New Feature Selection Method for Protein Function Prediction

Ali Al-Shahib, R Breitling, D Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)


In the study of in silico functional genomics, improving the performance of protein function prediction is the ultimate goal for identifying proteins associated with defined cellular functions. The classical prediction approach is to employ pairwise sequence alignments. However this method often faces difficulties when no statistically significant homologous sequences are identified. An alternative way is to predict protein function from sequence-derived features using machine learning. In this case the choice of possible features which can be derived from the sequence is of vital importance to ensure adequate discrimination to predict function. In this paper we have successfully selected biologically significant features for protein function prediction. This was performed using a new feature selection method (FrankSum) that avoids data distribution assumptions, uses a data independent measurement (p-value) within the feature, identifies redundancy between features and uses an appropriate ranking criterion for feature selection. We have shown that classifiers generated from features selected by FrankSum outperforms classifiers generated from full feature sets, randomly selected features and features selected from the Wrapper method. We have also shown the features are concordant across all species and top ranking features are biologically informative. We conclude that feature selection is vital for successful protein function prediction and FrankSum is one of the feature selection methods that can be applied successfully to such a domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-275
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Neural Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


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