Greedy Biomarker Discovery in the Genome with Applications to Antimicrobial Resistance


The Set Covering Machine (SCM) is a greedy learning algorithm that produces sparse classifiers. We extend the SCM for datasets that contain a huge number of features. The whole genetic material of living organisms is an example of such a case, where the number of feature exceeds 10^7. Three human pathogens were used to evaluate the performance of the SCM at predicting antimicrobial resistance. Our results show that the SCM compares favorably in terms of sparsity and accuracy against L1 and L2 regularized Support Vector Machines and CART decision trees. Moreover, the SCM was the only algorithm that could consider the full feature space. For all other algorithms, the latter had to be filtered as a preprocessing step.

Greed is Great Workshop, ICML