Generalized Venn diagrams: a new method of visualizing complex genetic set relations

Hans A KestlerMalte Buchholz


Microarray experiments generate vast amounts of data. The unknown or only partially known functional context of differentially expressed genes may be assessed by querying the Gene Ontology database via GOMiner. Resulting tree representations are difficult to interpret and are not suited for visualization of this type of data. Methods are needed to effectively visualize these complex set relationships. We present a visualization approach for set relationships based on Venn diagrams. The proposed extension enhances the usual notion of Venn diagrams by incorporating set size information. The cardinality of the sets and intersection sets is represented by their corresponding circle (polygon) sizes. To avoid local minima, solutions to this problem are sought by evolutionary optimization. This generalized Venn diagram approach has been implemented as an interactive Java application (VennMaster) specifically designed for use with GOMiner in the context of the Gene Ontology database. VennMaster is platform-independent (Java 1.4.2) and has been tested on Windows (XP, 2000), Mac OS X, and Linux. Supplementary information and the software (free for non-commercial use) are available at Reading

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Related Concepts

Computer Graphics
Logistic Regression
Computer Programs and Programming
Virtual Systems
Cdna Microarrays
Evolution, Molecular
Gene Ontology
MRNA Differential Display
Opitz-Frias Syndrome

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