Genetic Architect: Discovering Genomic Structure with Learned Neural Architectures

Article Abstract

Each human genome is a 3 billion base pair set of encoding instructions. Decoding the genome using deep learning fundamentally differs from most tasks, as we do not know the full structure of the data and therefore cannot design architectures to suit it. As such, architectures that fit the structure of genomics should be learned not prescribed. Here, we develop a novel search algorithm, applicable across domains, that discovers an optimal architecture which simultaneously learns general genomic patterns and identifies the most important sequence motifs in predicting functional genomic outcomes. The architectures we find using this algorithm succeed at using only RNA expression data to predict gene regulatory structure, learn humaninterpretable visualizations of key sequence motifs, and surpass state-of-the-art results on benchmark genomics challenges.

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