Variability analysis of LC-MS experimental factors and their impact on machine learning

Tobias Greisager Rehfeldt, Konrad Krawczyk, Simon Gregersen Echers, Paolo Marcatili, Pawel Palczynski, Richard Röttger, Veit Schwämmle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Machine learning (ML) technologies, especially deep learning (DL), have gained increasing attention in predictive mass spectrometry (MS) for enhancing the data-processing pipeline from raw data analysis to end-user predictions and rescoring. ML models need large-scale datasets for training and repurposing, which can be obtained from a range of public data repositories. However, applying ML to public MS datasets on larger scales is challenging, as they vary widely in terms of data acquisition methods, biological systems, and experimental designs. We aim to facilitate ML efforts in MS data by conducting a systematic analysis of the potential sources of variability in public MS repositories. We also examine how these factors affect ML performance and perform a comprehensive transfer learning to evaluate the benefits of current best practice methods in the field for transfer learning. Our findings show significantly higher levels of homogeneity within a project than between projects, which indicates that it is important to construct datasets most closely resembling future test cases, as transferability is severely limited for unseen datasets. We also found that transfer learning, although it did increase model performance, did not increase model performance compared to a non-pretrained model.
Original languageEnglish
Issue numbergiad096
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Machine Learning
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Bioinformatics
  • Data mining
  • Deep learning
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Proteomics
  • Statistics
  • Transfer learning


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