Section: New Software and Platforms


Convolutional Kernel Networks for Biological Sequences

Keyword: Bioinformatics

Scientific Description: The growing amount of biological sequences available makes it possible to learn genotype-phenotype relationships from data with increasingly high accuracy. By exploiting large sets of sequences with known phenotypes, machine learning methods can be used to build functions that predict the phenotype of new, unannotated sequences. In particular, deep neural networks have recently obtained good performances on such prediction tasks, but are notoriously difficult to analyze or interpret. Here, we introduce a hybrid approach between kernel methods and convolutional neural networks for sequences, which retains the ability of neural networks to learn good representations for a learning problem at hand, while defining a well characterized Hilbert space to describe prediction functions. Our method outperforms state-of-the-art convolutional neural networks on a transcription factor binding prediction task while being much faster to train and yielding more stable and interpretable results.

Functional Description: D. Chen, L. Jacob, and J. Mairal. Biological Sequence Modeling with Convolutional Kernel Networks. Bioinformatics, volume 35, issue 18, pages 3294-3302, 2019.