Motivation: Various approaches based on features extracted from protein sequences and often machine learning methods have been used in the prediction of protein folds. Finding an efficient technique for integrating these different protein features has received increasing attention. In particular, kernel methods are an interesting class of techniques for integrating heterogeneous data. Various methods have been proposed to fuse multiple kernels. Most techniques for multiple kernel learning focus on learning a convex linear combination of base kernels. In addition to the limitation of linear combinations, working with such approaches could cause a loss of potentially useful information.
Results: We design several techniques to combine kernel matrices by taking more involved, geometry inspired means of these matrices instead of convex linear combinations. We consider various sequence-based protein features including information extracted directly from position-specific scoring matrices and local sequence alignment. We evaluate our methods for classification on the SCOP PDB-40D benchmark dataset for protein fold recognition. The best overall accuracy on the protein fold recognition test set obtained by our methods is ∼86.7%. This is an improvement over the results of the best existing approach. Moreover, our computational model has been developed by incorporating the functional domain composition of proteins through a hybridization model. It is observed that by using our proposed hybridization model, the protein fold recognition accuracy is further improved to 89.30%. Furthermore, we investigate the performance of our approach on the protein remote homology detection problem by fusing multiple string kernels.