A Clustering Ensemble Method for Cell Type Detection by Multiobjective Particle Optimization

IEEE/ACM Trans Comput Biol Bioinform. 2021 Dec 3;PP. doi: 10.1109/TCBB.2021.3132400. Online ahead of print.


Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) is a new technology different from previous sequencing methods that measure the average expression level for each gene across a large population of cells. Thus, new computational methods are required to reveal cell types among cell populations. We present a clustering ensemble algorithm using optimized multiobjective particle (CEMP). It is featured with several mechanisms: 1) A multi-subspace projection method for mapping the original data to low-dimensional subspaces is applied in order to detect complex data structure at both gene level and sample level. 2) The basic partition module in different subspaces is utilized to generate clustering solutions. 3) A transforming representation between clusters and particles is used to bridge the gap between the discrete clustering ensemble optimization problem and the continuous multiobjective optimization algorithm. 4) We propose a clustering ensemble optimization. To guide the multiobjective ensemble optimization process, three cluster metrics are embedded into CEMP as objective functions in which the final clustering will be dynamically evaluated. Experiments on 9 real scRNA-seq datasets indicated that CEMP had superior performance over several other clustering algorithms in clustering accuracy and robustness. The case study conducted on mouse neuronal cells identified main cell types and cell subtypes successfully.