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Identifying the Neuroanatomical Basis of Cognitive Impairment in Alzheimer's Disease by Correlation- and Nonlinearity-Aware Sparse Bayesian Learning


Predicting cognitive performance of subjects from their magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures and identifying relevant imaging biomarkers are important research topics in the study of Alzheimer's disease. Traditionally, this task is performed by formulating a linear regression problem. Recently, it is found that using a linear sparse regression model can achieve better prediction accuracy. However, most existing studies only focus on the exploitation of sparsity of regression coefficients, ignoring useful structure information in regression coefficients. Also, these linear sparse models may not capture more complicated and possibly nonlinear relationships between cognitive performance and MRI measures. Motivated by these observations, in this work we build a sparse multivariate regression model for this task and propose an empirical sparse Bayesian learning algorithm. Different from existing sparse algorithms, the proposed algorithm models the response as a nonlinear function of the predictors by extending the predictor matrix with block structures. Further, it exploits not only inter-vector correlation among regression coefficient vectors, but also intra-block correlation in each regression coefficient vector. Experiments on the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database showed that the proposed algorithm not only achieved better prediction performance than state-of-the-art competitive methods, but also effectively identified biologically meaningful patterns.

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