SSGA and MSGA: Two seed-growing algorithms for constructing collaborative subnetworks

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© 2017 The Author(s). The establishment of a collaborative network of transcription factors (TFs) followed by decomposition and then construction of subnetworks is an effective way to obtain sets of collaborative TFs; each set controls a biological process or a complex trait. We previously developed eight gene association methods for genome-wide coexpression analysis between each TF and all other genomic genes and then constructing collaborative networks of TFs but only one algorithm, called Triple-Link Algorithm, for building collaborative subnetworks. In this study, we developed two more algorithms, Single Seed-Growing Algorithm (SSGA) and Multi-Seed Growing Algorithm (MSGA), for building collaborative subnetworks of TFs by identifying the fully-linked triple-node seeds from a decomposed collaborative network and then growing them into subnetworks with two different strategies. The subnetworks built from the three algorithms described above were comparatively appraised in terms of both functional cohesion and intra-subnetwork association strengths versus inter-subnetwork association strengths. We concluded that SSGA and MSGA, which performed more systemic comparisons and analyses of edge weights and network connectivity during subnetwork construction processes, yielded more functional and cohesive subnetworks than Triple-Link Algorithm. Together, these three algorithms provide alternate approaches for acquiring subnetworks of collaborative TFs. We also presented a framework to outline how to use these three algorithms to obtain collaborative TF sets governing biological processes or complex traits.

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Scientific Reports