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There are a vast number of biology related research problems involving a combination of multiple sources of data to achieve a better understanding of the underlying problems. It is important to select and interpret the most important information from these sources. Thus it will be beneficial to have a good algorithm to simultaneously extract rules and select features for better interpretation of the predictive model. We propose an efficient algorithm, Combined Rule Extraction and Feature Elimination (CRF), based on 1-norm regularized random forests. CRF simultaneously extracts a small number of rules generated by random forests and selects important features. We applied CRF to several drug activity prediction and microarray data sets. CRF is capable of producing performance comparable with state-of-the-art prediction algorithms using a small number of decision rules. Some of the decision rules are biologically significant.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2012