A general framework for multiple testing dependence


We develop a general framework for performing large-scale significance testing in the presence of arbitrarily strong dependence. We derive a low-dimensional set of random vectors, called a dependence kernel, that fully captures the dependence structure in an observed high-dimensional dataset. This result shows a surprising reversal of the 'curse of dimensionality' in the high-dimensional hypothesis testing setting. We show theoretically that conditioning on a dependence kernel is sufficient to render statistical tests independent regardless of the level of dependence in the observed data. This framework for multiple testing dependence has implications in a variety of common multiple testing problems, such as in gene expression studies, brain imaging, and spatial epidemiology.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105 (48): 18718–18723