A copula based approach for design of multivariate random forests for drug sensitivity prediction

Saad Haider, Raziur Rahman, Souparno Ghosh, Ranadip Pal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Modeling sensitivity to drugs based on genetic characterizations is a significant challenge in the area of systems medicine. Ensemble based approaches such as Random Forests have been shown to perform well in both individual sensitivity prediction studies and team science based prediction challenges. However, Random Forests generate a deterministic predictive model for each drug based on the genetic characterization of the cell lines and ignores the relationship between different drug sensitivities during model generation. This application motivates the need for generation of multivariate ensemble learning techniques that can increase prediction accuracy and improve variable importance ranking by incorporating the relationships between different output responses. In this article, we propose a novel cost criterion that captures the dissimilarity in the output response structure between the training data and node samples as the difference in the two empirical copulas. We illustrate that copulas are suitable for capturing the multivariate structure of output responses independent of the marginal distributions and the copula based multivariate random forest framework can provide higher accuracy prediction and improved variable selection. The proposed framework has been validated on genomics of drug sensitivity for cancer and cancer cell line encyclopedia database.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0144490
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


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