Simultaneous differential network analysis and classification for matrix-variate data with application to brain connectivity

Hao Chen, Ying Guo, Yong He, Jiadong Ji, Lei Liu, Yufeng Shi, Yikai Wang, Long Yu, Xinsheng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Growing evidence has shown that the brain connectivity network experiences alterations for complex diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Network comparison, also known as differential network analysis, is thus particularly powerful to reveal the disease pathologies and identify clinical biomarkers for medical diagnoses (classification). Data from neurophysiological measurements are multidimensional and in matrix-form. Naive vectorization method is not sufficient as it ignores the structural information within the matrix. In the article, we adopt the Kronecker product covariance matrices framework to capture both spatial and temporal correlations of the matrix-variate data while the temporal covariance matrix is treated as a nuisance parameter. By recognizing that the strengths of network connections may vary across subjects, we develop an ensemble-learning procedure, which identifies the differential interaction patterns of brain regions between the case group and the control group and conducts medical diagnosis (classification) of the disease simultaneously. Simulation studies are conducted to assess the performance of the proposed method. We apply the proposed procedure to the functional connectivity analysis of an functional magnetic resonance imaging study on AD. The hub nodes and differential interaction patterns identified are consistent with existing experimental studies, and satisfactory out-of-sample classification performance is achieved for medical diagnosis of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-989
Number of pages23
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • Classification and prediction
  • Ensemble learning
  • Heterogeneity analysis
  • Logistic regression
  • Matrix data
  • Network comparison


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