A new method of peak detection for analysis of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography mass spectrometry data

Seongho Kim, Ming Ouyang, Jaesik Jeong, Changyu Shen, Xiang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


We develop a novel peak detection algorithm for the analysis of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-TOF MS) data using normal-exponential-Bernoulli (NEB) and mixture probability models. The algorithm first performs baseline correction and denoising simultaneously using the NEB model, which also defines peak regions. Peaks are then picked using a mixture of probability distribution to deal with the co-eluting peaks. Peak merging is further carried out based on the mass spectral similarities among the peaks within the same peak group. The algorithm is evaluated using experimental data to study the effect of different cutoffs of the conditional Bayes factors and the effect of different mixture models including Poisson, truncated Gaussian, Gaussian, Gamma and exponentially modified Gaussian (EMG) distributions, and the optimal version is introduced using a trial-and-error approach.We then compare the new algorithm with two existing algorithms in terms of compound identification. Data analysis shows that the developed algorithm can detect the peaks with lower false discovery rates than the existing algorithms, and a less complicated peak picking model is a promising alternative to the more complicated and widely used EMG mixture models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1209-1231
Number of pages23
JournalAnnals of Applied Statistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014



  • Bayes factor
  • Metabolomics
  • Mixture model
  • Normal- exponential-bernoulli (NEB) model
  • Peak detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Statistics and Probability

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