TY - JOUR

T1 - False discovery rate, sensitivity and sample size for microarray studies

AU - Pawitan, Yudi

AU - Michiels, Stefan

AU - Koscielny, Serge

AU - Gusnanto, Arief

AU - Ploner, Alexander

PY - 2005/7/1

Y1 - 2005/7/1

N2 - Motivation: In microarray data studies most researchers are keenly aware of the potentially high rate of false positives and the need to control it. One key statistical shift is the move away from the well-known P-value to false discovery rate (FDR). Less discussion perhaps has been spent on the sensitivity or the associated false negative rate (FNR). The purpose of this paper is to explain in simple ways why the shift from P-value to FDR for statistical assessment of microarray data is necessary, to elucidate the determining factors of FDR and, for a two-sample comparative study, to discuss its control via sample size at the design stage. Results: We use a mixture model, involving differentially expressed (DE) and non-DE genes, that captures the most common problem of finding DE genes. Factors determining FDR are (1) the proportion of truly differentially expressed genes, (2) the distribution of the true differences, (3) measurement variability and (4) sample size. Many current small microarray studies are plagued with large FDR, but controlling FDR alone can lead to unacceptably large FNR. In evaluating a design of a microarray study, sensitivity or FNR curves should be computed routinely together with FDR curves. Under certain assumptions, the FDR and FNR curves coincide, thus simplifying the choice of sample size for controlling the FDR and FNR jointly.

AB - Motivation: In microarray data studies most researchers are keenly aware of the potentially high rate of false positives and the need to control it. One key statistical shift is the move away from the well-known P-value to false discovery rate (FDR). Less discussion perhaps has been spent on the sensitivity or the associated false negative rate (FNR). The purpose of this paper is to explain in simple ways why the shift from P-value to FDR for statistical assessment of microarray data is necessary, to elucidate the determining factors of FDR and, for a two-sample comparative study, to discuss its control via sample size at the design stage. Results: We use a mixture model, involving differentially expressed (DE) and non-DE genes, that captures the most common problem of finding DE genes. Factors determining FDR are (1) the proportion of truly differentially expressed genes, (2) the distribution of the true differences, (3) measurement variability and (4) sample size. Many current small microarray studies are plagued with large FDR, but controlling FDR alone can lead to unacceptably large FNR. In evaluating a design of a microarray study, sensitivity or FNR curves should be computed routinely together with FDR curves. Under certain assumptions, the FDR and FNR curves coincide, thus simplifying the choice of sample size for controlling the FDR and FNR jointly.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=21444454257&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/bioinformatics/bti448

DO - 10.1093/bioinformatics/bti448

M3 - Article

C2 - 15840707

AN - SCOPUS:21444454257

SN - 1367-4803

VL - 21

SP - 3017

EP - 3024

JO - Bioinformatics

JF - Bioinformatics

IS - 13

ER -