Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010)
Dirk Husmeier, Frank Dondelinger, Sophie Lebre
Conventional dynamic Bayesian networks (DBNs) are based on the homogeneous Markov assumption, which is too restrictive in many practical applications. Various approaches to relax the homogeneity assumption have therefore been proposed in the last few years. The present paper aims to improve the flexibility of two recent versions of non-homogeneous DBNs, which either (i) suffer from the need for data discretization, or (ii) assume a time-invariant network structure. Allowing the network structure to be fully flexible leads to the risk of overfitting and inflated inference uncertainty though, especially in the highly topical field of systems biology, where independent measurements tend to be sparse. In the present paper we investigate three conceptually different regularization schemes based on inter-segment information sharing. We assess the performance in a comparative evaluation study based on simulated data. We compare the predicted segmentation of gene expression time series obtained during embryogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster with other state-of-the-art techniques. We conclude our evaluation with an application to synthetic biology, where the objective is to predict a known regulatory network of five genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.