Mutual dependency-based modeling of relevance in co-occurence data

Eerika Savia

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


    In the analysis of large data sets it is increasingly important to distinguish the relevant information from the irrelevant. This thesis outlines how to find what is relevant in so-called co-occurrence data, where there are two or more representations for each data sample. The modeling task sets the limits to what we are interested in, and in its part defines the relevance. In this work, the problem of finding what is relevant in data is formalized via dependence, that is, the variation that is found in both (or all) co-occurring data sets was deemed to be more relevant than variation that is present in only one (or some) of the data sets. In other words, relevance is defined through dependencies between the data sets. The method development contributions of this thesis are related to latent topic models and methods of dependency exploration. The dependency-seeking models were extended to nonparametric models, and computational algorithms were developed for the models. The methods are applicable to mutual dependency modeling and co-occurrence data in general, without restriction to the applications presented in the publications of this work. The application areas of the publications included modeling of user interest, relevance prediction of text based on eye movements, analysis of brain imaging with fMRI and modeling of gene regulation in bioinformatics. Additionally, frameworks for different application areas were suggested. Until recently it has been a prevalent convention to assume the data to be normally distributed when modeling dependencies between different data sets. Here, a distribution-free nonparametric extension of Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA) was suggested, together with a computationally more efficient semi-parametric variant. Furthermore, an alternative view to CCA was derived which allows a new kind of interpretation of the results and using CCA in feature selection that regards dependency as the criterion of relevance. Traditionally, latent topic models are one-way clustering models, that is, one of the variables is clustered by the latent variable. We proposed a latent topic model that generalizes in two ways and showed that when only a small amount of data has been gathered, two-way generalization becomes necessary. In the field of brain imaging, natural stimuli in fMRI studies imitate real-life situations and challenge the analysis methods used. A novel two-step framework was proposed for analyzing brain imaging measurements from fMRI. This framework seems promising for the analysis of brain signal data measured under natural stimulation, once such measurements are more widely available.
    Translated title of the contributionMutual dependency-based modeling of relevance in co-occurence data
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor's degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    • Kaski, Samuel, Supervising Professor
    Print ISBNs978-952-60-3209-2
    Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-3210-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


    • canonical correlation analysis
    • collaborative filtering
    • co-occurence data
    • dependency modeling
    • eye movements
    • fMRI
    • gene regulation
    • latent topic models
    • natural stimulation
    • two-way grouping

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