New perspectives on multilocus ancestry informativeness
Omri Tal and Tat Dat Tran
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Submission date: 28. Feb. 2018 (revised version: March 2018)
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We present an axiomatic approach for multilocus informativeness measures for determining the amount of information that a set of polymorphic genetic markers provides about individual ancestry. We then reveal several surprising properties of a decision-theoretic based measure that is consistent with the set of proposed criteria for multilocus informativeness in full compliance with the axiomatic framework. In particular, these properties highlight the interplay between information originating from the relative discrepancy in source population sizes (population priors) and the information extractable from the population genetic variants. This analysis then reveals a certain deficiency of mutual information based multilocus informativeness measures when such population priors are incorporated. Finally, we analyse and quantify the inevitable inherent decrease in informativeness due to learning from finite population samples.