Robust data imputationRobust data imputation
Faculty of Applied Economics
Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Sciences
Computational biology and chemistry. -
33(2009):1, p. 7-13
University of Antwerp
Single imputation methods have been wide-discussed topics among researchers in the field of bioinformatics. One major shortcoming of methods proposed until now is the lack of robustness considerations. Like all data, gene expression data can possess outlying values. The presence of these outliers could have negative effects on the imputated values for the missing values. Afterwards, the outcome of any statistical analysis on the completed data could lead to incorrect conclusions. Therefore it is important to consider the possibility of outliers in the data set, and to evaluate how imputation techniques will handle these values. In this paper, a simulation study is performed to test existing techniques for data imputation in case outlying values are present in the data. To overcome some shortcomings of the existing imputation techniques, a new robust imputation method that can deal with the presence of outliers in the data is introduced. In addition, the robust imputation procedure cleans the data for further statistical analysis. Moreover, this method can be easily extended towards a multiple imputation approach by which the uncertainty of the imputed values is emphasised. Finally, a classification example illustrates the lack of robustness of some existing imputation methods and shows the advantage of the multiple imputation approach of the new robust imputation technique.