skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: Multiple Testing with the Structure-Adaptive Benjamini–Hochberg Algorithm
Summary

In multiple-testing problems, where a large number of hypotheses are tested simultaneously, false discovery rate (FDR) control can be achieved with the well-known Benjamini–Hochberg procedure, which a(0, 1]dapts to the amount of signal in the data, under certain distributional assumptions. Many modifications of this procedure have been proposed to improve power in scenarios where the hypotheses are organized into groups or into a hierarchy, as well as other structured settings. Here we introduce the ‘structure-adaptive Benjamini–Hochberg algorithm’ (SABHA) as a generalization of these adaptive testing methods. The SABHA method incorporates prior information about any predetermined type of structure in the pattern of locations of the signals and nulls within the list of hypotheses, to reweight the p-values in a data-adaptive way. This raises the power by making more discoveries in regions where signals appear to be more common. Our main theoretical result proves that the SABHA method controls the FDR at a level that is at most slightly higher than the target FDR level, as long as the adaptive weights are constrained sufficiently so as not to overfit too much to the data—interestingly, the excess FDR can be related to the Rademacher complexity or Gaussian width of the class from which we choose our data-adaptive weights. We apply this general framework to various structured settings, including ordered, grouped and low total variation structures, and obtain the bounds on the FDR for each specific setting. We also examine the empirical performance of the SABHA method on functional magnetic resonance imaging activity data and on gene–drug response data, as well as on simulated data.

 
more » « less
NSF-PAR ID:
10397806
Author(s) / Creator(s):
;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B: Statistical Methodology
Volume:
81
Issue:
1
ISSN:
1369-7412
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 45-74
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    E-values have gained attention as potential alternatives to p-values as measures of uncertainty, significance and evidence. In brief, e-values are realized by random variables with expectation at most one under the null; examples include betting scores, (point null) Bayes factors, likelihood ratios and stopped supermartingales. We design a natural analogue of the Benjamini-Hochberg (BH) procedure for false discovery rate (FDR) control that utilizes e-values, called the e-BH procedure, and compare it with the standard procedure for p-values. One of our central results is that, unlike the usual BH procedure, the e-BH procedure controls the FDR at the desired level—with no correction—for any dependence structure between the e-values. We illustrate that the new procedure is convenient in various settings of complicated dependence, structured and post-selection hypotheses, and multi-armed bandit problems. Moreover, the BH procedure is a special case of the e-BH procedure through calibration between p-values and e-values. Overall, the e-BH procedure is a novel, powerful and general tool for multiple testing under dependence, that is complementary to the BH procedure, each being an appropriate choice in different applications.

     
    more » « less
  2. Abstract Motivation

    Emerging omics technologies have introduced a two-way grouping structure in multiple testing, as seen in single-cell omics data, where the features can be grouped by either genes or cell types. Traditional multiple testing methods have limited ability to exploit such two-way grouping structure, leading to potential power loss.

    Results

    We propose a new 2D Group Benjamini–Hochberg (2dGBH) procedure to harness the two-way grouping structure in omics data, extending the traditional one-way adaptive GBH procedure. Using both simulated and real datasets, we show that 2dGBH effectively controls the false discovery rate across biologically relevant settings, and it is more powerful than the BH or q-value procedure and more robust than the one-way adaptive GBH procedure.

    Availability and implementation

    2dGBH is available as an R package at: https://github.com/chloelulu/tdGBH. The analysis code and data are available at: https://github.com/chloelulu/tdGBH-paper.

     
    more » « less
  3. Modern data analysis frequently involves large-scale hypothesis testing, which naturally gives rise to the problem of maintaining control of a suitable type I error rate, such as the false discovery rate (FDR). In many biomedical and technological applications, an additional complexity is that hypotheses are tested in an online manner, one-by-one over time. However, traditional procedures that control the FDR, such as the Benjamini-Hochberg procedure, assume that all p-values are available to be tested at a single time point. To address these challenges, a new field of methodology has developed over the past 15 years showing how to control error rates for online multiple hypothesis testing. In this framework, hypotheses arrive in a stream, and at each time point the analyst decides whether to reject the current hypothesis based both on the evidence against it, and on the previous rejection decisions. In this paper, we present a comprehensive exposition of the literature on online error rate control, with a review of key theory as well as a focus on applied examples.We also provide simulation results comparing different online testing algorithms and an up-to-date overview of the many methodological extensions that have been proposed. 
    more » « less
  4. Summary

    Multiple-hypothesis testing involves guarding against much more complicated errors than single-hypothesis testing. Whereas we typically control the type I error rate for a single-hypothesis test, a compound error rate is controlled for multiple-hypothesis tests. For example, controlling the false discovery rate FDR traditionally involves intricate sequential p-value rejection methods based on the observed data. Whereas a sequential p-value method fixes the error rate and estimates its corresponding rejection region, we propose the opposite approach—we fix the rejection region and then estimate its corresponding error rate. This new approach offers increased applicability, accuracy and power. We apply the methodology to both the positive false discovery rate pFDR and FDR, and provide evidence for its benefits. It is shown that pFDR is probably the quantity of interest over FDR. Also discussed is the calculation of the q-value, the pFDR analogue of the p-value, which eliminates the need to set the error rate beforehand as is traditionally done. Some simple numerical examples are presented that show that this new approach can yield an increase of over eight times in power compared with the Benjamini–Hochberg FDR method.

     
    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)
    One important partition of algorithms for controlling the false discovery rate (FDR) in multiple testing is into offline and online algorithms. The first generally achieve significantly higher power of discovery, while the latter allow making decisions sequentially as well as adaptively formulating hypotheses based on past observations. Using existing methodology, it is unclear how one could trade off the benefits of these two broad families of algorithms, all the while preserving their formal FDR guarantees. To this end, we introduce Batch-BH and Batch-St-BH, algorithms for controlling the FDR when a possibly infinite sequence of batches of hypotheses is tested by repeated application of one of the most widely used offline algorithms, the Benjamini-Hochberg (BH) method or Storey’s improvement of the BH method. We show that our algorithms interpolate between existing online and offline methodology, thus trading off the best of both worlds. 
    more » « less