A Regularized Multi-Task Learning Approach for Cell Type Detection in Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Data
Frontiers in Genetics
Cell type prediction is one of the most challenging goals in single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) data. Existing methods use unsupervised learning to identify signature genes in each cluster, followed by a literature survey to look up those genes for assigning cell types. However, finding potential marker genes in each cluster is cumbersome, which impedes the systematic analysis of single-cell RNA sequencing data. To address this challenge, we proposed a framework based on regularized
... sk learning (RMTL) that enables us to simultaneously learn the subpopulation associated with a particular cell type. Learning the structure of subpopulations is treated as a separate task in the multi-task learner. Regularization is used to modulate the multi-task model (e.g., W1, W2, ... Wt) jointly, according to the specific prior. For validating our model, we trained it with reference data constructed from a single-cell RNA sequencing experiment and applied it to a query dataset. We also predicted completely independent data (the query dataset) from the reference data which are used for training. We have checked the efficacy of the proposed method by comparing it with other state-of-the-art techniques well known for cell type detection. Results revealed that the proposed method performed accurately in detecting the cell type in scRNA-seq data and thus can be utilized as a useful tool in the scRNA-seq pipeline.