Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Graphical Models: New Mathematical Tool Could Unpick Complex Cancer Causes And Help Sociologists Mine Facebook

Date:
December 16, 2008
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
Researchers have devised a new research tool that could help unpick the complex cell interactions that lead to cancer and also allow social scientists to mine social networking sites such as Facebook for useful insights.

Researchers at the University of Warwick’s Department of Statistics and Centre for Complexity Science have devised a new research tool that could help unpick the complex cell interactions that lead to cancer and also allow social scientists to mine social networking sites such as Facebook for useful insights.

Related Articles


An approach called “graphical models” can be used by researchers to gain an understanding of a range of systems with multiple interacting factors. These models use mathematical objects called graphs to describe and depict the probability of relationships between each of the components. When used to study molecular biology researchers may be interested in saying something about which molecules influence one another; in the social sciences researchers would use them to understand the relationships between various economic and demographic factors.

However gaining such information from a graphical model can be a very challenging exercise, because of the vast range of possible graphs needed for even a relatively small number of variables. For instance the relatively small network studied by the University of Warwick led team for this research paper had just 14 proteins which were implicated in the development of a form of cancer, but those 14 proteins had a vast number of combinations of possible mutual interactions.

Such tasks would be made much easier if the mathematical tools used to undertake the analysis could somehow embody all the current knowledge of what was likely, and or probable, in the networks they were analysing. Such a mathematical method could be viewed as mimicking how human researchers learn from data, in effect interpreting new information in light of what is already known.

The Warwick researchers led by Dr Sach Mukherjee of Warwick’s Department of Statistics and Centre for Complexity Science have devised just such a method that embeds current knowledge in the mathematical analysis to cut through the vast complexity of this type of analysis using a mechanism called “Informative Priors”.

The researchers took the 14 protein network and created a mathematical tool that was able to incorporate all of what the interactions, and limits on interactions, that were likely and/or probable in such a network of these particular proteins. This allowed a rapid and accurate analysis of the probabilities of interactions between each on the 14 proteins. The technique even able to cope with misconceptions in current understanding of particular networks as it the was designed to “overturn” any reject any data included in the “Informative Priors” that was consistently at odds with any observed new data.

Analysis with these network models was much better able to resolve complex interactions than simple, correlation-based methods. Moreover using informative priors, gave much more accurate results than analysis that incorporated no prior understanding of the network (so called “flat priors”).

The researchers will now use their new technique to examine the network of proteins behind the development of breast cancer but they are also looking at how the tool could be used in social science to mine a vast amount of useful anonymised data from social networking sites such as Facebook to gain significant new understandings of large scale interactions and relationships in society at large.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Graphical Models: New Mathematical Tool Could Unpick Complex Cancer Causes And Help Sociologists Mine Facebook." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215074648.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2008, December 16). Graphical Models: New Mathematical Tool Could Unpick Complex Cancer Causes And Help Sociologists Mine Facebook. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215074648.htm
University of Warwick. "Graphical Models: New Mathematical Tool Could Unpick Complex Cancer Causes And Help Sociologists Mine Facebook." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215074648.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can Bitcoin Survive 2015?

Can Bitcoin Survive 2015?

Newsy (Dec. 22, 2014) Bitcoin's stock has tumbled significantly this year, but more companies now accept it, leading supporters and critics alike to weigh in on its future. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins