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Title: Sparse reduced-rank regression for imaging genetics studies : models and applications
Author: Vounou, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 7716
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2012
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We present a novel statistical technique; the sparse reduced rank regression (sRRR) model which is a strategy for multivariate modelling of high-dimensional imaging responses and genetic predictors. By adopting penalisation techniques, the model is able to enforce sparsity in the regression coefficients, identifying subsets of genetic markers that best explain the variability observed in subsets of the phenotypes. To properly exploit the rich structure present in each of the imaging and genetics domains, we additionally propose the use of several structured penalties within the sRRR model. Using simulation procedures that accurately reflect realistic imaging genetics data, we present detailed evaluations of the sRRR method in comparison with the more traditional univariate linear modelling approach. In all settings considered, we show that sRRR possesses better power to detect the deleterious genetic variants. Moreover, using a simple genetic model, we demonstrate the potential benefits, in terms of statistical power, of carrying out voxel-wise searches as opposed to extracting averages over regions of interest in the brain. Since this entails the use of phenotypic vectors of enormous dimensionality, we suggest the use of a sparse classification model as a de-noising step, prior to the imaging genetics study. Finally, we present the application of a data re-sampling technique within the sRRR model for model selection. Using this approach we are able to rank the genetic markers in order of importance of association to the phenotypes, and similarly rank the phenotypes in order of importance to the genetic markers. In the very end, we illustrate the application perspective of the proposed statistical models in three real imaging genetics datasets and highlight some potential associations.
Supervisor: Montana, Giovanni Sponsor: GlaxoSmith Kline ; EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral