False Discovery Rate Computation: Illustrations and Modifications


False discovery rates (FDR) are an essential component of statistical inference, representing the propensity for an observed result to be mistaken. FDR estimates should accompany observed results to help the user contextualize the relevance and potential impact of findings. This paper introduces a new user-friendly R package for computing FDRs and adjusting p-values for FDR control. These tools respect the critical difference between the adjusted p-value and the estimated FDR for a particular finding, which are sometimes numerically identical but are often confused in practice. Newly augmented methods for estimating the null proportion of findings - an important part of the FDR estimation procedure - are proposed and evaluated. The package is broad, encompassing a variety of methods for FDR estimation and FDR control, and includes plotting functions for easy display of results. Through extensive illustrations, we strongly encourage wider reporting of false discovery rates for observed findings.

Megan Hollister Murray
Megan Hollister Murray
PhD Candidate and Research Assistant in Biostatistics