Ensemble-based prediction of RNA secondary structures

Nima Aghaeepour, Holger H Hoos
2013 BMC Bioinformatics  
Accurate structure prediction methods play an important role for the understanding of RNA function. Energy-based, pseudoknot-free secondary structure prediction is one of the most widely used and versatile approaches, and improved methods for this task have received much attention over the past five years. Despite the impressive progress that has been achieved in this area, existing evaluations of the prediction accuracy achieved by various algorithms do not provide a comprehensive,
more » ... y sound assessment. Furthermore, while there is increasing evidence that no prediction algorithm consistently outperforms all others, no work has been done to exploit the complementary strengths of multiple approaches. Results In this work, we present two contributions to the area of RNA secondary structure prediction. Firstly, we use state-of-the-art, resampling-based statistical methods together with a previously published and increasingly widely used dataset of high-quality RNA structures to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of existing RNA secondary structure prediction procedures. The results from this evaluation clarify the performance relationship between ten well-known existing energy-based pseudoknot-free RNA secondary structure prediction methods and clearly demonstrate the progress that has been achieved in recent years. Secondly, we introduce AveRNA, a generic and powerful method for combining a set of existing secondary structure prediction procedures into an ensemble-based method that achieves significantly higher prediction accuracies than obtained from any of its component procedures.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-14-139 pmid:23617269 pmcid:PMC3750279 fatcat:7qg76twdpzarhkfvo6tkckjxcy