Machine and deep learning meet genome-scale metabolic modeling

Guido Zampieri, Supreeta Vijayakumar, Elisabeth Yaneske, Claudio Angione

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Omic data analysis is steadily growing as a driver of basic and applied molecular biology research. Core to the interpretation of complex and heterogeneous biological phenotypes are computational approaches in the fields of statistics and machine learning. In parallel, constraint-based metabolic modeling has established itself as the main tool to investigate large-scale relationships between genotype, phenotype, and environment. The development and application of these methodological frameworks have occurred independently for the most part, whereas the potential of their integration for biological, biomedical, and biotechnological research is less known. Here, we describe how machine learning and constraint-based modeling can be combined, reviewing recent works at the intersection of both domains and discussing the mathematical and practical aspects involved. We overlap systematic classifications from both frameworks, making them accessible to nonexperts. Finally, we delineate potential future scenarios, propose new joint theoretical frameworks, and suggest concrete points of investigation for this joint subfield. A multiview approach merging experimental and knowledge-driven omic data through machine learning methods can incorporate key mechanistic information in an otherwise biologically-agnostic learning process.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1007084
Number of pages29
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2019


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