LOCUS: A Novel Decomposition Method for Brain Network Connectivity Matrices using Low-rank Structure with Uniform Sparsity

19 Aug 2020  ·  Yikai Wang, Ying Guo ·

Network-oriented research has been increasingly popular in many scientific areas. In neuroscience research, imaging-based network connectivity measures have become the key for understanding brain organizations, potentially serving as individual neural fingerprints. There are major challenges in analyzing connectivity matrices including the high dimensionality of brain networks, unknown latent sources underlying the observed connectivity, and the large number of brain connections leading to spurious findings. In this paper, we propose a novel blind source separation method with low-rank structure and uniform sparsity (LOCUS) as a fully data-driven decomposition method for network measures. Compared with the existing method that vectorizes connectivity matrices ignoring brain network topology, LOCUS achieves more efficient and accurate source separation for connectivity matrices using low-rank structure. We propose a novel angle-based uniform sparsity regularization that demonstrates better performance than the existing sparsity controls for low-rank tensor methods. We propose a highly efficient iterative Node-Rotation algorithm that exploits the block multi-convexity of the objective function to solve the non-convex optimization problem for learning LOCUS. We illustrate the advantage of LOCUS through extensive simulation studies. Application of LOCUS to Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort neuroimaging study reveals biologically insightful connectivity traits which are not found using the existing method.

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