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Editorial

The Reasonable Effectiveness of Randomness in Scalable and Integrative Gene Regulatory Network Inference and Beyond

by 1,* and 2,*
1
EducatedGuess.ai, 57290 Neunkirchen, Germany
2
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, 50829 Cologne, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Computation 2021, 9(12), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/computation9120146
Received: 4 October 2021 / Revised: 23 November 2021 / Accepted: 30 November 2021 / Published: 20 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inference of Gene Regulatory Networks Using Randomized Algorithms)
Gene regulation is orchestrated by a vast number of molecules, including transcription factors and co-factors, chromatin regulators, as well as epigenetic mechanisms, and it has been shown that transcriptional misregulation, e.g., caused by mutations in regulatory sequences, is responsible for a plethora of diseases, including cancer, developmental or neurological disorders. As a consequence, decoding the architecture of gene regulatory networks has become one of the most important tasks in modern (computational) biology. However, to advance our understanding of the mechanisms involved in the transcriptional apparatus, we need scalable approaches that can deal with the increasing number of large-scale, high-resolution, biological datasets. In particular, such approaches need to be capable of efficiently integrating and exploiting the biological and technological heterogeneity of such datasets in order to best infer the underlying, highly dynamic regulatory networks, often in the absence of sufficient ground truth data for model training or testing. With respect to scalability, randomized approaches have proven to be a promising alternative to deterministic methods in computational biology. As an example, one of the top performing algorithms in a community challenge on gene regulatory network inference from transcriptomic data is based on a random forest regression model. In this concise survey, we aim to highlight how randomized methods may serve as a highly valuable tool, in particular, with increasing amounts of large-scale, biological experiments and datasets being collected. Given the complexity and interdisciplinary nature of the gene regulatory network inference problem, we hope our survey maybe helpful to both computational and biological scientists. It is our aim to provide a starting point for a dialogue about the concepts, benefits, and caveats of the toolbox of randomized methods, since unravelling the intricate web of highly dynamic, regulatory events will be one fundamental step in understanding the mechanisms of life and eventually developing efficient therapies to treat and cure diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: scalable gene regulatory network inference; randomized algorithms; multi-omics data integration scalable gene regulatory network inference; randomized algorithms; multi-omics data integration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Banf, M.; Hartwig, T. The Reasonable Effectiveness of Randomness in Scalable and Integrative Gene Regulatory Network Inference and Beyond. Computation 2021, 9, 146. https://doi.org/10.3390/computation9120146

AMA Style

Banf M, Hartwig T. The Reasonable Effectiveness of Randomness in Scalable and Integrative Gene Regulatory Network Inference and Beyond. Computation. 2021; 9(12):146. https://doi.org/10.3390/computation9120146

Chicago/Turabian Style

Banf, Michael, and Thomas Hartwig. 2021. "The Reasonable Effectiveness of Randomness in Scalable and Integrative Gene Regulatory Network Inference and Beyond" Computation 9, no. 12: 146. https://doi.org/10.3390/computation9120146

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