BicNET

BicNET: Flexible module discovery in large-scale biological networks using biclustering. Methods: This work proposes Biclustering NETworks (BicNET), a biclustering algorithm to discover non-trivial yet coherent modules in weighted biological networks with heightened efficiency. Three major contributions are provided. First, we motivate the relevance of discovering network modules given by constant, symmetric, plaid and order-preserving biclustering models. Second, we propose an algorithm to discover these modules and to robustly handle noisy and missing interactions. Finally, we provide new searches to tackle time and memory bottlenecks by effectively exploring the inherent structural sparsity of network data. Results: Results in synthetic network data confirm the soundness, efficiency and superiority of BicNET. The application of BicNET on protein interaction and gene interaction networks from yeast, E. coli and Human reveals new modules with heightened biological significance. Conclusions: BicNET is, to our knowledge, the first method enabling the efficient unsupervised analysis of large-scale network data for the discovery of coherent modules with parameterizable homogeneity.