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Large-Scale Learning of Structure−Activity Relationships Using a Linear Support Vector Machine and Problem-Specific Metrics

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posted on 28.02.2011 by Georg Hinselmann, Lars Rosenbaum, Andreas Jahn, Nikolas Fechner, Claude Ostermann, Andreas Zell
The goal of this study was to adapt a recently proposed linear large-scale support vector machine to large-scale binary cheminformatics classification problems and to assess its performance on various benchmarks using virtual screening performance measures. We extended the large-scale linear support vector machine library LIBLINEAR with state-of-the-art virtual high-throughput screening metrics to train classifiers on whole large and unbalanced data sets. The formulation of this linear support machine has an excellent performance if applied to high-dimensional sparse feature vectors. An additional advantage is the average linear complexity in the number of non-zero features of a prediction. Nevertheless, the approach assumes that a problem is linearly separable. Therefore, we conducted an extensive benchmarking to evaluate the performance on large-scale problems up to a size of 175000 samples. To examine the virtual screening performance, we determined the chemotype clusters using Feature Trees and integrated this information to compute weighted AUC-based performance measures and a leave-cluster-out cross-validation. We also considered the BEDROC score, a metric that was suggested to tackle the early enrichment problem. The performance on each problem was evaluated by a nested cross-validation and a nested leave-cluster-out cross-validation. We compared LIBLINEAR against a Naïve Bayes classifier, a random decision forest classifier, and a maximum similarity ranking approach. These reference approaches were outperformed in a direct comparison by LIBLINEAR. A comparison to literature results showed that the LIBLINEAR performance is competitive but without achieving results as good as the top-ranked nonlinear machines on these benchmarks. However, considering the overall convincing performance and computation time of the large-scale support vector machine, the approach provides an excellent alternative to established large-scale classification approaches.

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