High-throughput data analysis in behavior genetics

Anat Sakov*, Ilan Golani, Dina Lipkind, Yoav Benjamini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In recent years, a growing need has arisen in different fields for the development of computational systems for automated analysis of large amounts of data (high-throughput). Dealing with nonstandard noise structure and outliers, that could have been detected and corrected in manual analysis, must now be built into the system with the aid of robust methods. We discuss such problems and present insights and solutions in the context of behavior genetics, where data consists of a time series of locations of a mouse in a circular arena. In order to estimate the location, velocity and acceleration of the mouse, and identify stops, we use a nonstandard mix of robust and resistant methods: LOWESS and repeated running median. In addition, we argue that protection against small deviations from experimental protocols can be handled automatically using statistical methods. In our case, it is of biological interest to measure a rodent's distance from the arena's wall, but this measure is corrupted if the arena is not a perfect circle, as required in the protocol. The problem is addressed by estimating robustly the actual boundary of the arena and its center using a nonparametric regression quantile of the behavioral data, with the aid of a fast algorithm developed for that purpose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-763
Number of pages21
JournalAnnals of Applied Statistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Behavior genetics
  • Boundary estimation
  • Center estimation
  • Outliers
  • Path data
  • Regression quantile
  • Robustness
  • Running median


Dive into the research topics of 'High-throughput data analysis in behavior genetics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this