Focused multidimensional scaling: interactive visualization for exploration of high-dimensional data

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BMC Bioinformatics. 2019 May 02;20(1):221

Title: Focused multidimensional scaling: interactive visualization for exploration of high-dimensional data
Author: Urpa, Lea M; Anders, Simon
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date: 2019-05-02
Abstract: Abstract Background Visualization is an important tool for generating meaning from scientific data, but the visualization of structures in high-dimensional data (such as from high-throughput assays) presents unique challenges. Dimension reduction methods are key in solving this challenge, but these methods can be misleading- especially when apparent clustering in the dimension-reducing representation is used as the basis for reasoning about relationships within the data. Results We present two interactive visualization tools, distnet and focusedMDS, that help in assessing the validity of a dimension-reducing plot and in interactively exploring relationships between objects in the data. The distnet tool is used to examine discrepancies between the placement of points in a two dimensional visualization and the points’ actual similarities in feature space. The focusedMDS tool is an intuitive, interactive multidimensional scaling tool that is useful for exploring the relationships of one particular data point to the others, that might be useful in a personalized medicine framework. Conclusions We introduce here two freely available tools for visually exploring and verifying the validity of dimension-reducing visualizations and biological information gained from these. The use of such tools can confirm that conclusions drawn from dimension-reducing visualizations are not simply artifacts of the visualization method, but are real biological insights.
Subject: Clustering
High-dimensional data
Personalized medicine

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