Applications of machine learning in metabolomics: Disease modeling and classification

Front Genet. 2022 Nov 24:13:1017340. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2022.1017340. eCollection 2022.


Metabolomics research has recently gained popularity because it enables the study of biological traits at the biochemical level and, as a result, can directly reveal what occurs in a cell or a tissue based on health or disease status, complementing other omics such as genomics and transcriptomics. Like other high-throughput biological experiments, metabolomics produces vast volumes of complex data. The application of machine learning (ML) to analyze data, recognize patterns, and build models is expanding across multiple fields. In the same way, ML methods are utilized for the classification, regression, or clustering of highly complex metabolomic data. This review discusses how disease modeling and diagnosis can be enhanced via deep and comprehensive metabolomic profiling using ML. We discuss the general layout of a metabolic workflow and the fundamental ML techniques used to analyze metabolomic data, including support vector machines (SVM), decision trees, random forests (RF), neural networks (NN), and deep learning (DL). Finally, we present the advantages and disadvantages of various ML methods and provide suggestions for different metabolic data analysis scenarios.

Keywords: biomarkers; deep learning; machine learning; metabolic disorders; metabolomics.

Publication types

  • Review