A novel approach to dna copy number data segmentation

Siling Wang, Yuhang Wang, Yang Xie, Guanghua Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


DNA copy number (DCN) is the number of copies of DNA at a region of a genome. The alterations of DCN are highly associated with the development of different tumors. Recently, microarray technologies are being employed to detect DCN changes at many loci at the same time in tumor samples. The resulting DCN data are often very noisy, and the tumor sample is often contaminated by normal cells. The goal of computational analysis of array-based DCN data is to infer the underlying DCNs from raw DCN data. Previous methods for this task do not model the tumor/normal cell mixture ratio explicitly and they cannot output segments with DCN annotations. We developed a novel model-based method using the minimum description length (MDL) principle for DCN data segmentation. Our new method can output underlying DCN for each chromosomal segment, and at the same time, infer the underlying tumor proportion in the test samples. Empirical results show that our method achieves better accuracies on average as compared to three previous methods, namely Circular Binary Segmentation, Hidden Markov Model and Ultrasome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-148
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • DCN data
  • MDL
  • model-based
  • segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications


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