- Analysis of coding principles in the olfactory system and their application in cheminformatics (2007)
- Predicting olfactory receptor neuron responses from odorant structure (2007)
- Background Olfactory receptors work at the interface between the chemical world of volatile molecules and the perception of scent in the brain. Their main purpose is to translate chemical space into information that can be processed by neural circuits. Assuming that these receptors have evolved to cope with this task, the analysis of their coding strategy promises to yield valuable insight in how to encode chemical information in an efficient way. Results We mimicked olfactory coding by modeling responses of primary olfactory neurons to small molecules using a large set of physicochemical molecular descriptors and artificial neural networks. We then tested these models by recording in vivo receptor neuron responses to a new set of odorants and successfully predicted the responses of five out of seven receptor neurons. Correlation coefficients ranged from 0.66 to 0.85, demonstrating the applicability of our approach for the analysis of olfactory receptor activation data. The molecular descriptors that are best-suited for response prediction vary for different receptor neurons, implying that each receptor neuron detects a different aspect of chemical space. Finally, we demonstrate that receptor responses themselves can be used as descriptors in a predictive model of neuron activation. Conclusions The chemical meaning of molecular descriptors helps understand structure-response relationships for olfactory receptors and their 'receptive fields'. Moreover, it is possible to predict receptor neuron activation from chemical structure using machine-learning techniques, although this is still complicated by a lack of training data.
- Optimized Particle Swarm Optimization (OPSO) and its application to artificial neural network training (2006)
- Background: Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) is an established method for parameter optimization. It represents a population-based adaptive optimization technique that is influenced by several "strategy parameters". Choosing reasonable parameter values for the PSO is crucial for its convergence behavior, and depends on the optimization task. We present a method for parameter meta-optimization based on PSO and its application to neural network training. The concept of the Optimized Particle Swarm Optimization (OPSO) is to optimize the free parameters of the PSO by having swarms within a swarm. We assessed the performance of the OPSO method on a set of five artificial fitness functions and compared it to the performance of two popular PSO implementations. Results: Our results indicate that PSO performance can be improved if meta-optimized parameter sets are applied. In addition, we could improve optimization speed and quality on the other PSO methods in the majority of our experiments. We applied the OPSO method to neural network training with the aim to build a quantitative model for predicting blood-brain barrier permeation of small organic molecules. On average, training time decreased by a factor of four and two in comparison to the other PSO methods, respectively. By applying the OPSO method, a prediction model showing good correlation with training-, test- and validation data was obtained. Conclusion: Optimizing the free parameters of the PSO method can result in performance gain. The OPSO approach yields parameter combinations improving overall optimization performance. Its conceptual simplicity makes implementing the method a straightforward task.
- Topographic embedding of MOR18-2 in the mouse olfactory bulb (2014)
- Poster presentation at 1st International Workshop on Odor Spaces. Mice are exceptional in their ability to capture their chemical environment, mapping the olfactory world into a basic sensory representation with over one thousand different types of chemical sensors, that is, olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs). OSNs of each type converge in the olfactory bulb onto exclusive distinct physiological areas called glomeruli. The glomeruli constitute the first relay station of olfactory stimulus representation in the mouse brain. Thus, the stimulus induced glomerular input pattern spatially embodies an important part of the sensory representation in the olfactory bulb. Still, topographic organization principles (chemotopy, tunotopy) are under debate. One reason might be that investigation are, due to experimental limitations, only performed on stimuli sets in the size of one hundred odors. But this represents only a tiny snapshot of the vast amount of molecules in the olfactory world and topographic relationships might be disguised in the incomplete representation of molecular receptive ranges (MRR). Therefore we investigated the problem with the MOR18-2 glomerulus as point of reference: First we determined it's MRR. Then, based on a measurement set covering this MRR, we elucidated the topographic embedding. It shows that MOR18-2 is embedded in a hierarchy of patchy tunotopic domains.