Clustered alignments of gene-expression time series data

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Characterizing and comparing temporal gene-expression responses is an important computational task for answering a variety of questions in biological studies. Algorithms for aligning time series represent a valuable approach for such analyses. However, previous approaches to aligning gene-expression time series have assumed that all genes should share the same alignment. Our work is motivated by the need for methods that identify sets of genes that differ in similar ways between two time series, even when their expression profiles are quite different.


We present a novel algorithm that calculates clustered alignments; the method finds clusters of genes such that the genes within a cluster share a common alignment, but each cluster is aligned independently of the others. We also present an efficient new segment-based alignment algorithm for time series called SCOW (shorting correlation-optimized warping). We evaluate our methods by assessing the accuracy of alignments computed with sparse time series from a toxicogenomics dataset. The results of our evaluation indicate that our clustered alignment approach and SCOW provide more accurate alignments than previous approaches. Additionally, we apply our clustered alignment approach to characterize the effects of a conditional Mop3 knockout in mouse liver.

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