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I have a matrix of 36,000 genes measurements for 60 samples. For calculating most correlated genes of the first gene in the matrix, my following program gives the result. However processing time is extremely slow.

dat <- as.matrix(read.table("/path/gene_matrix.txt", header = TRUE, fill = TRUE))
corr_list <- data.frame(top=numeric(), correlated=numeric(), cor=numeric(), p.value=numeric())


for (i in 2:nrow(dat)) {
r <- cor.test(dat[1,], dat[i,])
corr_list[i-1,] <- c(rownames(dat)[1], rownames(dat)[i], r$estimate, r$p.value)
}               

corr_list <- corr_list[order(corr_list$cor, decreasing = TRUE), ]


write.table(corr_list, "/path/most_related.txt", quote = FALSE, row.names = FALSE, sep="\t")

Anyone could suggest an efficient method for the above problem.

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2
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If you had profiled your code, you would have seen that unusually long time is taken by line:

corr_list[i - 1,] <- c(rNames[1], rNames[i], r$estimate, r$p.value)

It is probably because you are combining multiple type values into one vector. So this should be mush faster:

f3 <- function(dat) {
  require(data.table)
  mainVar <- dat[1,]
  rNames <- rownames(dat)
  rez <- lapply(2:nrow(dat), function(i) {
    r <- cor.test(x = mainVar, y = dat[i,])
    c(r$estimate, r$p.value)
  })
  fin <- data.table(rNames[1], rNames[-1])
  fin <- cbind(fin, data.table(do.call(rbind, rez)))
  setnames(fin, c("top", "correlated", "cor", "p.value"))
  return(rez)
}

I <- 60
N <- 1000
dat <- MASS::mvrnorm(N, mu = rep(0, I), diag(I))
rownames(dat) <- paste0("G", 1:N)

# Comparison  
res1 <- microbenchmark(
  f1(dat),
  f2(dat),
  f3(dat),
  times = 10
)
print(res1, unit = "s")
# Unit: seconds
# expr       min        lq      mean    median        uq       max neval cld
# f1(dat) 0.4333447 0.4609346 0.4880110 0.4863479 0.5050751 0.5782526    20   c
# f2(dat) 0.3585121 0.3729532 0.4021378 0.3979831 0.4269367 0.4899676    20  b 
# f3(dat) 0.1483598 0.1610634 0.1782496 0.1787396 0.1934256 0.2273650    20 a  

autoplot(res1)

enter image description here

Update

If we calculate correlation with base function and p.value - ourselves, we can get rid of for loop and do all of this much faster. Only problems my arise if your data contains missing values:

pcor <- function(r, n){
  t <- r * sqrt(n - 2) / sqrt(1 - r^2)
  p <- 2 * (1 - pt(abs(t), (n - 2)))
  p[p > 1] <- 1
  p
}

f4 <- function(dat){
  require(data.table)

  rNames <- rownames(dat)
  d2 <- t(dat)
  cors <- cor(d2[, 1], d2[, -1])
  cors <- t(cors)
  cp <- pcor(cors, ncol(dat))
  cp <- cbind(cors, cp)
  fin <- data.table(rNames[1], rNames[-1])
  fin <- cbind(fin, cp)
  setnames(fin, c("top", "correlated", "cor", "p.value"))
  return(fin)
}

I <- 60
N <- 1000
dat <- MASS::mvrnorm(N, mu = rep(0, I), diag(I))
rownames(dat) <- paste0("G", 1:N)


res1 <- microbenchmark(
  f1(dat),
  f2(dat),
  f3(dat),
  f4(dat),
  times = 10
)
print(res1, unit = "s")
# Unit: seconds
# expr         min          lq        mean      median          uq         max neval  cld
# f1(dat) 0.408167816 0.410614574 0.428363371 0.429430744 0.442042920 0.456887399    10    d
# f2(dat) 0.334446197 0.345779175 0.366422216 0.362465218 0.378226388 0.426838502    10   c 
# f3(dat) 0.139088268 0.145095289 0.156048277 0.153321298 0.162591518 0.183544069    10  b  
# f4(dat) 0.002363351 0.002428473 0.002615854 0.002483812 0.002797716 0.003117556    10 a 

enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ excellent. I was too blind to spot that c(rNames[1], rNames[i], r$estimate, r$p.value) issue. \$\endgroup\$ – hplieninger Aug 25 '17 at 14:44
1
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You should always initialize your data structures first, because that's safer and faster (e.g., this blog post).

# corr_list <- data.frame(top = numeric(), correlated = numeric()))
corr_list <- data.frame(top = numeric(length = nrow(dat)-1),
                        correlated = NA)

The comparison of both versions indicates that it may reduce time for you by a factor larger that 2. initializing data performance

library("microbenchmark")
library("ggplot2")

# Data
I <- 60
N <- 100
dat <- MASS::mvrnorm(N, mu = rep(0, I), diag(I))
rownames(dat) <- paste0("G", 1:N)

# OP's version
f1 <- function(dat) {
  corr_list <- data.frame(top = numeric(), correlated = numeric(),
                          cor = numeric(), p.value = numeric())
  for (i in 2:nrow(dat)) {
    r <- cor.test(dat[1,], dat[i,])
    corr_list[i - 1,] <- c(rownames(dat)[1], rownames(dat)[i], r$estimate, r$p.value)
  } 
  return(corr_list)
}

# Initialized version
f2 <- function(dat) {
  corr_list <- data.frame(top = numeric(length = nrow(dat) - 1),
                          correlated = NA, cor = NA, p.value = NA)
  for (i in 2:nrow(dat)) {
    r <- cor.test(x = dat[1,], y = dat[i,])
    corr_list[i - 1,] <- c(rownames(dat)[1], rownames(dat)[i], r$estimate, r$p.value)
  } 
  return(corr_list)
}

# Comparison  
res1 <- microbenchmark(
  f1(dat),
  f2(dat),
  times = 20
)
print(res1, unit = "s")
autoplot(res1)
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