Spectral Learning of Binomial HMMs for DNA Methylation Data
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Spectral Learning of Binomial HMMs for DNA Methylation Data


We consider learning parameters of Binomial Hidden Markov Models, which may be used to model DNA methylation data. The standard algorithm for the problem is EM, which is computationally expensive for sequences of the scale of the mammalian genome. Recently developed spectral algorithms can learn parameters of latent variable models via tensor decomposition, and are highly efficient for large data. However, these methods have only been applied to categorial HMMs, and the main challenge is how to extend them to Binomial HMMs while still retaining computational efficiency. We address this challenge by introducing a new feature-map based approach that exploits specific properties of Binomial HMMs. We provide theoretical performance guarantees for our algorithm and evaluate it on real DNA methylation data.

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