Objectives: The aim of our work was to implement a prototype of a decision support system which has the form of a web-based classification service. Because the data analysis component of decision support systems often happens to be unsuitable for high-dimensional data, special attention must be paid to the sophisticated selection of the most relevant variables before learning the classification rule.
Methods: We implemented a prototype of a diagnostic decision support system called SIR. The system has the ability to select the most relevant variables based on a set of high-dimensional measurements by means of a forward procedure optimizing a decision-making criterion. This allows to learn a reliable classification rule.
Results: The implemented prototype was tested on a sample of patients involved in a cardiology study. We used SIR to perform an information extraction from a cardiological clinical study containing both clinical and gene expression data. The classification performance was evaluated by means of a cross validation study.
Conclusions: The proposed classification system can be useful for clinicians in primary care to support their decision-making tasks with relevant information extracted from any available clinical study. It is especially suitable for analyzing high-dimensional data, e.g. gene expression measurements.