Black Box FDR
Wesley Tansey · Yixin Wang · David Blei · Raul Rabadan

Wed Jul 11th 06:15 -- 09:00 PM @ Hall B #37

Analyzing large-scale, multi-experiment studies requires scientists to test each experimental outcome for statistical significance and then assess the results as a whole. We present Black Box FDR (BB-FDR), an empirical-Bayes method for analyzing multi-experiment studies when many covariates are gathered per experiment. BB-FDR learns a series of black box predictive models to boost power and control the false discovery rate (FDR) at two stages of study analysis. In Stage 1, it uses a deep neural network prior to report which experiments yielded significant outcomes. In Stage 2, a separate black box model of each covariate is used to select features that have significant predictive power across all experiments. In benchmarks, BB-FDR outperforms competing state-of-the-art methods in both stages of analysis. We apply BB-FDR to two real studies on cancer drug efficacy. For both studies, BB-FDR increases the proportion of significant outcomes discovered and selects variables that reveal key genomic drivers of drug sensitivity and resistance in cancer.

Author Information

Wesley Tansey (Columbia University)
Yixin Wang (Columbia University)
David Blei (Columbia University)

David Blei is a Professor of Statistics and Computer Science at Columbia University, and a member of the Columbia Data Science Institute. His research is in statistical machine learning, involving probabilistic topic models, Bayesian nonparametric methods, and approximate posterior inference algorithms for massive data. He works on a variety of applications, including text, images, music, social networks, user behavior, and scientific data. David has received several awards for his research, including a Sloan Fellowship (2010), Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (2011), Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2011), Blavatnik Faculty Award (2013), and ACM-Infosys Foundation Award (2013). He is a fellow of the ACM.

Raul Rabadan (Columbia University Medical Center)

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