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In our earlier study, we proposed a novel feature selection approach, Recursive Cluster Elimination with Support Vector Machines (SVM-RCE) and implemented this approach in Matlab. Interest in this approach has grown over time and several researchers have incorporated SVM-RCE into their studies, resulting in a substantial number of scientific publications. This increased interest encouraged us to reconsider how feature selection, particularly in biological datasets, can benefit from considering the relationships of those genes in the selection process, this led to our development of SVM-RCE-R. The usefulness of SVM-RCE-R is further supported by development of maTE tool, which uses a similar approach to identify microRNA (miRNA) targets. We have now implemented the SVM-RCE-R algorithm in Knime in order to make it easier to apply and to make it more accessible to the biomedical community. The use of SVM-RCE-R in Knime is simple and intuitive, allowing researchers to immediately begin their data analysis without having to consult an information technology specialist. The input for the Knime tool is an EXCEL file (or text or CSV) with a simple structure and the output is also an EXCEL file. The Knime version also incorporates new features not available in the previous version. One of these features is a user-specific ranking function that enables the user to provide the weights of the accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, f-measure, area under curve and precision in the ranking function, allowing the user to select for greater sensitivity or greater specificity as needed. The results show that the ranking function has an impact on the performance of SVM-RCE-R. Some of the clusters that achieve high scores for a specified ranking can also have high scores in other metrics. This finding motivates future studies to suggest the optimal ranking function.

Yousef Malik, Bakir-Gungor Burcu, Jabeer Amhar, Goy Gokhan, Qureshi Rehman, C Showe Louise


KNIME, clustering, gene expression, grouping, machine learning, ranking, recursive