Pyka, Martin; Heider, Dominik; Hauke, Sascha; Kircher, Tilo; Jansen, Andreas:
Dynamic Causal Modeling with Genetic Algorithms
In: Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Jg. 194 (2011), Heft 2, S. 402 - 406
2011Artikel/Aufsatz in Zeitschrift
Dynamic Causal Modeling with Genetic Algorithms
Pyka, Martin; Heider, DominikLSF; Hauke, Sascha; Kircher, Tilo; Jansen, Andreas


In the last years, dynamic causal modeling has gained increased popularity in the neuroimaging community as an approach for the estimation of effective connectivity from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. The algorithm calls for an a priori defined model, whose parameter estimates are subsequently computed upon the given data. As the number of possible models increases exponentially with additional areas, it rapidly becomes inefficient to compute parameter estimates for all models in order to reveal the family of models with the highest posterior probability. In the present study, we developed a genetic algorithm for dynamic causal models and investigated whether this evolutionary approach can accelerate the model search. In this context, the configuration of the intrinsic, extrinsic and bilinear connection matrices represents the genetic code and Bayesian model selection serves as a fitness function. Using crossover and mutation, populations of models are created and compared with each other. The most probable ones survive the current generation and serve as a source for the next generation of models. Tests with artificially created data sets show that the genetic algorithm approximates the most plausible models faster than a random-driven brute-force search. The fitness landscape revealed by the genetic algorithm indicates that dynamic causal modeling has excellent properties for evolution-driven optimization techniques.