A comprehensive assessment of methods for de-novo reverse-engineering of genome-scale regulatory networks

Genomics. 2011 Jan;97(1):7-18. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2010.10.003. Epub 2010 Oct 14.


De-novo reverse-engineering of genome-scale regulatory networks is an increasingly important objective for biological and translational research. While many methods have been recently developed for this task, their absolute and relative performance remains poorly understood. The present study conducts a rigorous performance assessment of 32 computational methods/variants for de-novo reverse-engineering of genome-scale regulatory networks by benchmarking these methods in 15 high-quality datasets and gold-standards of experimentally verified mechanistic knowledge. The results of this study show that some methods need to be substantially improved upon, while others should be used routinely. Our results also demonstrate that several univariate methods provide a "gatekeeper" performance threshold that should be applied when method developers assess the performance of their novel multivariate algorithms. Finally, the results of this study can be used to show practical utility and to establish guidelines for everyday use of reverse-engineering algorithms, aiming towards creation of automated data-analysis protocols and software systems.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Computational Biology / standards
  • Computational Biology / statistics & numerical data
  • Databases, Nucleic Acid
  • Gene Regulatory Networks*
  • Genome*
  • Methods
  • Multivariate Analysis