A feature selection algorithm may select the subset of features with the best associations with the class labels. The recursive feature elimination (RFE) is a heuristic feature screening framework and has been widely used to select the biological OMIC biomarkers. This study proposed a dynamic recursive feature elimination (dRFE) framework with more flexible feature elimination operations. The proposed dRFE was comprehensively compared with 11 existing feature selection algorithms and five classifiers on the eight difficult transcriptome datasets from a previous study, the ten newly collected transcriptome datasets and the five methylome datasets.


The experimental data suggested that the regular RFE framework did not perform well, and dRFE outperformed the existing feature selection algorithms in most cases. The dRFE-detected features achieved Acc = 1.0000 for the two methylome datasets GSE53045 and GSE66695. The best prediction accuracies of the dRFE-detected features were 0.9259, 0.9424 and 0.8601 for the other three methylome datasets GSE74845, GSE103186 and GSE80970, respectively. Four transcriptome datasets received Acc = 1.0000 using the dRFE-detected features, and the prediction accuracies for the other six newly collected transcriptome datasets were between 0.6301 and 0.9917.

Availability and implementation

The experiments in this study are implemented and tested using the programming language Python version 3.7.6.

Supplementary information

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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