Omnibus testing and gene filtration in microarray data analysis

Hongying Dai, Richard Charnigo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


When thousands of tests are performed simultaneously to detect differentially expressed genes in microarray analysis, the number of Type I errors can be immense if a multiplicity adjustment is not made. However, due to the large scale, traditional adjustment methods require very stringen significance levels for individual tests, which yield low power for detecting alterations. In this work, we describe how two omnibus tests can be used in conjunction with a gene filtration process to circumvent difficulties due to the large scale of testing. These two omnibus tests, the D-test and the modified likelihood ratio test (MLRT), can be used to investigate whether a collection of P-values has arisen from the Uniform(0,1) distribution or whether the Uniform(0,1) distribution contaminated by another Beta distribution is more appropriate. In the former case, attention can be directed to a smaller part of the genome; in the latter event, parameter estimates for the contamination model provide a frame of reference for multiple comparisons. Unlike the likelihood ratio test (LRT), both the D-test and MLRT enjoy simple limiting distributions under the null hypothesis of no contamination, so critical values can be obtained from standard tables. Simulation studies demonstrate that the D-test and MLRT are superior to the AIC, BIC, and Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. A case study illustrates omnibus testing and filtration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-47
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Statistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Beta contamination model
  • D-test
  • MLRT
  • MMLEs
  • Multiple comparisons
  • P-values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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