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Review article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Advancing microbiome research with machine learning: key findings from the ML4Microbiome COST action

D'Elia, Domenica; Truu, Jaak; Lahti, Leo; Berland, Magali; Papoutsoglou, Georgios; Ceci, Michelangelo; Zomer, Aldert; Lopes, Marta B.; Ibrahimi, Eliana; Gruca, Aleksandra; Nechyporenko, Alina; Frohme, Marcus; Klammsteiner, Thomas; Pau, Enrique Carrillo-de Santa; Marcos-Zambrano, Laura Judith; Hron, Karel; Pio, Gianvito; Simeon, Andrea; Suharoschi, Ramona; Moreno-Indias, Isabel;
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The rapid development of machine learning (ML) techniques has opened up the data-dense field of microbiome research for novel therapeutic, diagnostic, and prognostic applications targeting a wide range of disorders, which could substantially improve healthcare practices in the era of precision medicine. However, several challenges must be addressed to exploit the benefits of ML in this field fully. In particular, there is a need to establish "gold standard" protocols for conducting ML analysis experiments and improve interactions between microbiome researchers and ML experts. The Machine Learning Techniques in Human Microbiome Studies (ML4Microbiome) COST Action CA18131 is a European network established in 2019 to promote collaboration between discovery-oriented microbiome researchers and data-driven ML experts to optimize and standardize ML approaches for microbiome analysis. This perspective paper presents the key achievements of ML4Microbiome, which include identifying predictive and discriminatory 'omics' features, improving repeatability and comparability, developing automation procedures, and defining priority areas for the novel development of ML methods targeting the microbiome. The insights gained from ML4Microbiome will help to maximize the potential of ML in microbiome research and pave the way for new and improved healthcare practices.


microbiome; machine learning; artificial intelligence; standards; best practices

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Frontiers in Microbiology
2023, Volume: 14, article number: 1257002Publisher: FRONTIERS MEDIA SA

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