The “Gini index” in genetics: measuring genetic architecture complexity of quantitative traits

The “Gini index” in genetics: measuring genetic architecture complexity of quantitative traits

Xia Shen
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/018713

Genetic architecture is a general terminology used and discussed very often in complex traits genetics. It is related to the number of functional loci involved in explaining variation of a complex trait and the distribution of genetic effects across these loci. Understanding the complexity level of the genetic architecture of complex traits is essential for evaluating the potential power of mapping functional loci and prediction of complex traits. However, there has been no quantitative measurement of the genetic architecture complexity, which makes it difficult to link results from genetic data analysis to such terminology. Inspired by the “Gini index” for measuring income distribution in economics, I develop a genetic architecture score (“GA score”) to measure genetic architecture complexity. Simulations indicate that the GA score is an effective measurement of the complexity level of complex traits genetic architecture.

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