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BITS2007 Meeting
BITS2007 Meeting

26-28 April 2007 Napoli, Italy

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A tool for interactive analysis of bioinformatics data
We propose a scientific data exploration software environment that permits to obtain
both data clustering and visualization. The approach is based on a pipeline, from
input to cluster analysis and assessment with each stage supported by visualization
and interaction tools. The proposed approach enables the user to answer the following
questions: Is a dataset really clusterizable? does it contain localized uniform groups
and are these groups well separable? How many cluster should we produce? How much is
the clusterization reliable? If we reassign some point to a different cluster, how
much does the total reliability change? In which clusters do the points of this
subset lie? How can we use a priori partial information to validate clusterization?

1. Parameter estimation
The first step of the pipeline implemented by our tools consists of a procedure for
testing the stability of clusters for any value on a prescribed range of parameters
of the algorithm and is based on the Model Explorer approach. 
2. Clustering and visualization
The same procedure can be used to obtain a first raw clusterization of the dataset.
In our tool K-Means, EM, SOM, PPS algorithms are provided, which can be used both
directly as clustering methods and in the parameter estimation process. The
clusterization can be inspected by a module offering the visualization of clusters
convex hulls as they appear in projected 2-3D spaces through PCA and MDS. The user
can select each cluster and each point in a cluster checking all its features. 
3. Cluster reliability
The reliability of each cluster in a clusterization is obtained by first producing
several perturbed versions of the dataset, and then a clusterization over each of
these new datasets and their similarity matrices. The Fuzzy Similarity Matrix over
these clusterizations ia build summing over the similarity matrices. 
4. Fuzzy Membership analysis
Starting from the fuzzy similarity matrix, we can compute the value of each cluster
membership function for each pattern and quantify how much single points belong to a
fixed group of other points over different trials of clustering on the perturbed
versions of the dataset. The fuzzy membership is represented through a 2-3D
visualization of the points of the dataset. The convex hulls of the clusters composed
by the points for which the membership values are greater than a given threshold are
shown. The user is allowed to change the threshold and save the corresponding
clusters. Basing on the values of every membership function for each outlier, the
system suggests to manually reassign a point to a different cluster. The user can
accept such suggestions or explore alternative clusterizations.
5. Interactive Agglomerative Clustering
Since rarely the number of clusters is known in advance, we adopt an interactive
agglomerative technique on the clusters obtained in the previous phase. The user can
choose different partitioning of the data on the base of a threshold value. The
result is a dendrogram in which each leaf is associated with a cluster from the
previous phase. This step could employ the Negentropy distance or any hierarchical
6. Visualization of prior knowledge
A priori information can be used to:
- Validate a clustering result.
- Infer new knowledge.
The validation of a clustering can be obtained comparing the prior knowledge and the
knowledge obtained from the clustering itself, obtaining a confidence degree. The
prior knowledge can also be used to produce new knowledge inferred by the presence or
absence of objects of a certain class in a certain cluster. Different hypotheses can
be made depending on the relations between the prior knowledge and the features used
to cluster the objects. Prior knowledge can be visually shown and permits to
visualize distance and cluster information together with the prior knowledge.

Comparing the results of our cluster analysis with those of hierarchical clustering
by Whitfield et al., it  appears that the genes classified into the third NEC cluster
are distributed into three different Whitfield clusters. Two of these clusters were
reported as associated with DNA replication function, whereas the third were composed
by various, non-classified genes.  It seems that the NEC cluster is more enriched in
genes belonging the same functional class (DNA replication = 9.7%; Fisher exact test
p = 3.3*10^-11) than two of the three different Whitfield clusters (Whitfield 1, DNA
replication = 9.5%; Fisher exact test p=4.4*10^-9 - Whitfield 2, DNA replication =
5.3 %, p = 7.5*10^-3). Concerning the third Whitfield cluster (composed by
non-classified genes) the hierarchical clustering appears to misclassify this set of
77 genes. The analysis of their function showed that they are highly associated with
the  DNA replication function (DNA replication = 11.6%, Fisher exact test p =
8.4*10^-6). In conclusion, at least in several cases, the proposed method of
clustering appears to be more useful.
Id: 103
Place: Napoli, Italy
Centro Congressi "Federico II"
Via Partenope 36
Starting date:
26-Apr-2007   17:00
Duration: 20'
Contribution type: Oral
Primary Authors: TAGLIAFERRI, Roberto (DMI, University of Salerno, I-84084, via Ponte don Melillo, Fisciano (SA))
Co-Authors: COCOZZA, Sergio (CDGU, Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Pathology "L. Califano" University of Naples "Federico II", Napoli)
IORIO, Francesco (DMI, University of Salerno, I-84084, via Ponte don Melillo, Fisciano (SA); Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine, Via P. Castellino 111, 80131, Napoli)
MIELE, Gennaro (Dipartimento Scienze Fisiche, University of Naples "Federico II", I-80136, via Cintia 6, Napoli)
NAPOLITANO, Francesco (DMI, University of Salerno, I-84084, via Ponte don Melillo, Fisciano (SA))
PINELLI, Michele (CDGU, Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Pathology "L. Califano" University of Naples "Federico II", Napoli)
RAICONI, Giancarlo (DMI, University of Salerno, I-84084, via Ponte don Melillo, Fisciano (SA))
Presenters: TAGLIAFERRI, Roberto
Material: slide Slides
Included in session: Session 2: Novel methodologies, algorithms and tools
Included in track: Novel methodologies, algorithms and tools | Last modified 08 July 2009 10:35 |

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