Motivation: Polymorphisms in human genes are being described in remarkable numbers. Determining which polymorphisms and which environmental factors are associated with common, complex diseases has become a daunting task. This is partly because the effect of any single genetic variation will likely be dependent on other genetic variations (gene-gene interaction or epistasis) and environmental factors (gene-environment interaction). Detecting and characterizing interactions among multiple factors is both a statistical and a computational challenge. To address this problem, we have developed a multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) method for collapsing high-dimensional genetic data into a single dimension thus permitting interactions to be detected in relatively small sample sizes. In this paper, we describe the MDR approach and an MDR software package. Results: We developed a program that integrates MDR with a cross-validation strategy for estimating the classification and prediction error of multifactor models. The software can be used to analyze interactions among 2-15 genetic and/or environmental factors. The dataset may contain up to 500 total variables and a maximum of 4000 study subjects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistics and Probability
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Computational Theory and Mathematics
- Computational Mathematics