Interpretable and stable prediction of schizophrenia on a large multisite dataset using machine learning with structured sparsity

Abstract : The use of machine-learning (ML) in neuroimaging offers new perspectives in early diagnosis and prognosis of brain diseases. Indeed, ML algorithms can jointly examine all brain features to capture complex relationships in the data in order to make inferences at a single-subject level. To deal with such high dimensional input and the associated risk of overfitting on the training data, a proper regularization (or feature selection) is required. Standard $l_2$-regularized predictors, such as Support Vector Machine, provide dense patterns of predictors. However, in the context of predictive disease signature discovery, it is now essential to understand the brain pattern that underpins the prediction. Despite $l_1$-regularized (sparse) has often been advocated as leading to more interpretable models, they generally lead to scattered and unstable patterns. We hypothesize that the integration of prior knowledge regarding the structure of the input images should improve the relevance and the stability of the predictive signature. Such structured sparsity can be obtained by combining together $l_1$ (possibly $l_2$) and Total variation (TV) penalties. We demonstrated the relevance of using ML with structured sparsity on a large multisite dataset of schizophrenia patients and controls. Using 3D maps of grey matter density , we obtained promising inter-site prediction performances. More importantly, we have uncovered a predictive signature of schizophrenia that is clinically interpretable and stable across resampling. This suggests that structured sparsity provides a major breakthrough over 'off-the-shelf' algorithms to perform a robust selection of important brain regions in the context of biomarkers discovery.
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Amicie de Pierrefeu, Tommy Lofstedt, Charles Laidi, Fouad Hadj-Selem, Marion Leboyer, et al.. Interpretable and stable prediction of schizophrenia on a large multisite dataset using machine learning with structured sparsity. 2018 International Workshop on Pattern Recognition in Neuroimaging (PRNI), Jun 2018, Singapore, Singapore. ⟨10.1109/PRNI.2018.8423946⟩. ⟨cea-01883311⟩

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