journal of biomedical informatics
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Machine Learning Methods for Knowledge Discovery in Medical Data on Atherosclerosis

Author(s): José Ignacio Serrano, Marie Tomečková, Jana Zvárová

Machine learning techniques are methods that given a training set of examples infer a model for the categories of the data, so that new (unknown) examples could be assigned to one or more categories by pattern matching within the model. The data from follow-up studies with repeated collection of the same type of data are very suitable for this analysis. Machine learning algorithms belonging to a variety of paradigms have been applied to knowledge discovery on medical data. All the used algorithms belong to the supervised learning paradigm. Several algorithms have been tested, trying to cover most of the kinds of supervised learning. Two kinds of experiments have been carried out. The first is intended to discover associations between attributes. The second kind is intended to test prediction of future disorders. For the experiments in this paper the data used was from the twenty years lasting primary preventive longitudinal study of the risk factors (RF) of atherosclerosis in middle aged men. Study is named STULONG (LONGitudinal STUdy). The results show that some methods predict some disorders better than others, so it is interesting to use all the algorithms at a time and consider the result confidence based upon the known tendency of each method. The machine learning algorithms have been also used in the prediction of death cause, obtaining poor results in this case, maybe due to the small amount of information (entries) of this type in the dataset.