Detecting critical state before phase transition of complex biological systems by hidden Markov model. Results: By exploring the rich dynamical information provided by high-throughput data, we present a novel computational method, i.e. hidden Markov model (HMM) based approach, to detect the switching point of the two Markov processes from the before-transition state (a stationary Markov process) to the pre-transition state (a time-varying Markov process), thereby identifying the pre-transition state or early-warning signals of the phase transition. To validate the effectiveness, we apply this method to detect the signals of the imminent phase transitions of complex systems based on the simulated datasets, and further identify the pre-transition states as well as their critical modules for three real datasets, i.e. the acute lung injury triggered by phosgene inhalation, MCF-7 human breast cancer caused by heregulin and HCV-induced dysplasia and hepatocellular carcinoma. Both functional and pathway enrichment analyses validate the computational results. Availability and implementation: The source code and some supporting files are available at

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  1. Wang, Gang; Li, Yuanyuan; Zou, Xiufen: Several indicators of critical transitions for complex diseases based on stochastic analysis (2017)