Abstract

Profile Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) are graphical models that can be used to produce finite length sequences from a distribution. In fact, although they were only introduced for bioinformatics 25 years ago (by Haussler et al., Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science 1993), they are arguably the most commonly used statistical model in bioinformatics, with multiple applications, including protein structure and function prediction, classifications of novel proteins into existing protein families and superfamilies, metagenomics, and multiple sequence alignment. The standard use of profile HMMs in bioinformatics has two steps: first a profile HMM is built for a collection of molecular sequences (which may not be in a multiple sequence alignment), and then the profile HMM is used in some subsequent analysis of new molecular sequences. The construction of the profile thus is itself a statistical estimation problem, since any given set of sequences might potentially fit more than one model well. Hence a basic question about profile HMMs is whether they are \em statistically identifiable, which means that no two profile HMMs can produce the same distribution on finite length sequences. Indeed, statistical identifiability is a fundamental aspect of any statistical model, and yet it is not known whether profile HMMs are statistically identifiable. In this paper, we report on preliminary results towards characterizing the statistical identifiability of profile HMMs in one of the standard forms used in bioinformatics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACM-BCB 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM International Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Health Informatics
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages448-456
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450357944
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2018
Event9th ACM International Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Health Informatics, ACM-BCB 2018 - Washington, United States
Duration: Aug 29 2018Sep 1 2018

Publication series

NameACM-BCB 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM International Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Health Informatics

Other

Other9th ACM International Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Health Informatics, ACM-BCB 2018
CountryUnited States
CityWashington
Period8/29/189/1/18

Keywords

  • Molecular sequence analysis
  • Profile hidden markov models
  • Statistical identifiability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software
  • Health Informatics
  • Biomedical Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Pattabiraman, S., & Warnow, T. (2018). Are Profile Hidden Markov Models Identifiable? In ACM-BCB 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM International Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Health Informatics (pp. 448-456). (ACM-BCB 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM International Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Health Informatics). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/3233547.3233563