Semi-supervised learning for classification of protein sequence data

Brian R. King, Chittibabu Guda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Protein sequence data continue to become available at an exponential rate. Annotation of functional and structural attributes of these data lags far behind, with only a small fraction of the data understood and labeled by experimental methods. Classification methods that are based on semi-supervised learning can increase the overall accuracy of classifying partly labeled data in many domains, but very few methods exist that have shown their effect on protein sequence classification. We show how proven methods from text classification can be applied to protein sequence data, as we consider both existing and novel extensions to the basic methods, and demonstrate restrictions and differences that must be considered. We demonstrate comparative results against the transductive support vector machine, and show superior results on the most difficult classification problems. Our results show that large repositories of unlabeled protein sequence data can indeed be used to improve predictive performance, particularly in situations where there are fewer labeled protein sequences available, and/or the data are highly unbalanced in nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-29
Number of pages25
JournalScientific Programming
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioinformatics
  • EM
  • Expectation maximization
  • Protein sequence classification
  • Semi-supervised learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications

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