A novel riboswitch classification based on imbalanced sequences achieved by machine learning

by Solomon Shiferaw Beyene, Tianyi Ling, Blagoj Ristevski, Ming Chen

Riboswitch, a part of regulatory mRNA (50–250nt in length), has two main classes: aptamer and expression platform. One of the main challenges raised during the classification of riboswitch is imbalanced data. That is a circumstance in which the records of a sequences of one group are very small compared to the others. Such circumstances lead classifier to ignore minority group and emphasize on majority ones, which results in a skewed classification. We considered sixteen riboswitch families, to be in accord with recent riboswitch classification work, that contain imbalanced sequences. The sequences were split into training and test set using a newly developed pipeline. From 5460 k-mers (k value 1 to 6) produced, 156 features were calculated based on CfsSubsetEval and BestFirst function found in WEKA 3.8. Statistically tested result was significantly difference between balanced and imbalanced sequences (p p k-mers clustered from heat map were discovered to have biological functions and motifs at the different positions like interior loops, terminal loops and helices. They were validated to have a biological function and some are riboswitch motifs. The analysis has discovered the importance of solving the challenges of majority bias analysis and overfitting. Presented results were generalized evaluation of both balanced and imbalanced models, which implies their ability of classifying, to classify novel riboswitches. The Python source code is available at https://github.com/Seasonsling/riboswitch.

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