Sparse multivariate autoregressive modeling for mild cognitive impairment classification

Yang Li, Chong Yaw Wee, Biao Jie, Ziwen Peng, Dinggang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Brain connectivity network derived from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is becoming increasingly prevalent in the researches related to cognitive and perceptual processes. The capability to detect causal or effective connectivity is highly desirable for understanding the cooperative nature of brain network, particularly when the ultimate goal is to obtain good performance of control-patient classification with biological meaningful interpretations. Understanding directed functional interactions between brain regions via brain connectivity network is a challenging task. Since many genetic and biomedical networks are intrinsically sparse, incorporating sparsity property into connectivity modeling can make the derived models more biologically plausible. Accordingly, we propose an effective connectivity modeling of resting-state fMRI data based on the multivariate autoregressive (MAR) modeling technique, which is widely used to characterize temporal information of dynamic systems. This MAR modeling technique allows for the identification of effective connectivity using the Granger causality concept and reducing the spurious causality connectivity in assessment of directed functional interaction from fMRI data. A forward orthogonal least squares (OLS) regression algorithm is further used to construct a sparse MAR model. By applying the proposed modeling to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) classification, we identify several most discriminative regions, including middle cingulate gyrus, posterior cingulate gyrus, lingual gyrus and caudate regions, in line with results reported in previous findings. A relatively high classification accuracy of 91.89 % is also achieved, with an increment of 5.4 % compared to the fully-connected, non-directional Pearson-correlation-based functional connectivity approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-469
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul


  • Effective connectivity
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
  • Orthogonal least squares (OLS)
  • Sparse multivariate autoregressive (MAR) model
  • Support vector machines (SVMs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Information Systems


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