Dataset Open Access

netDx: Interpretable patient classification using integrated patient similarity networks

Pai, Shraddha; Hui, Shirley; Isserlin, Ruth; Shah, Muhammad A; Kaka, Hussam; Bader, Gary D

Docker image containing installed netDx software in Ubuntu to reproduce examples from the published manuscript. The R implementation of netDx is hosted at:

Publication abstract: Patient classification has widespread biomedical and clinical applications, including diagnosis, prognosis and treatment response prediction. A clinically useful prediction algorithm should be accurate, generalizable, be able to integrate diverse data types, and handle sparse data. A clinical predictor based on genomic data needs to be easily interpretable to drive hypothesis-driven research into new treatments. We describe netDx, a novel supervised patient classification framework based on patient similarity networks. netDx meets the above criteria and particularly excels at data integration and model interpretability. We compared classification performance of this method against other machine-learning algorithms, using a cancer survival benchmark with four cancer types, each requiring integration of up to six genomic and clinical data types. In these tests, netDx has significantly higher average performance than most other machine-learning approaches across most cancer types. In comparison to traditional machine learning-based patient classifiers, netDx results are more interpretable, visualizing the decision boundary in the context of patient similarity space. When patient similarity is defined by pathway-level gene expression, netDx identifies biological pathways important for outcome prediction, as demonstrated in diverse data sets of breast cancer and asthma. Thus, netDx can serve both as a patient classifier and as a tool for discovery of biological features characteristic of disease. We provide a freely available software implementation of netDx along with sample files and automation workflows in R.

Files (1.7 GB)
Name Size
1.7 GB Download
344.9 kB Download
All versions This version
Views 300300
Downloads 359359
Data volume 148.7 GB148.7 GB
Unique views 286286
Unique downloads 278278


Cite as