Detecting Multivariate Gene Interactions in RNA-Seq Data Using Optimal Bayesian Classification. Academic Article uri icon


  • Differential gene expression testing is an analysis commonly applied to RNA-Seq data. These statistical tests identify genes that are significantly different across phenotypes. We extend this testing paradigm to multivariate gene interactions from a classification perspective with the goal to detect novel gene interactions for the phenotypes of interest. This is achieved through our novel computational framework comprised of a hierarchical statistical model of the RNA-Seq processing pipeline and the corresponding optimal Bayesian classifier. Through Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling and Monte Carlo integration, we compute quantities where no analytical formulation exists. The performance is then illustrated on an expression dataset from a dietary intervention study where we identify gene pairs that have low classification error yet were not identified as differentially expressed. Additionally, we have released the software package to perform OBC classification on RNA-Seq data under an open source license and is available at

published proceedings

  • IEEE/ACM Trans Comput Biol Bioinform

altmetric score

  • 7.346

author list (cited authors)

  • Knight, J. M., Ivanov, I., Triff, K., Chapkin, R. S., & Dougherty, E. R.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Knight, Jason M||Ivanov, Ivan||Triff, Karen||Chapkin, Robert S||Dougherty, Edward R

publication date

  • March 2018