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Open Access Software

A Platform for Processing Expression of Short Time Series (PESTS)

Anshu Sinha1 and Marianthi Markatou2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

2 Department of Biostatistics, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

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BMC Bioinformatics 2011, 12:13  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-12-13

Published: 11 January 2011

Abstract

Background

Time course microarray profiles examine the expression of genes over a time domain. They are necessary in order to determine the complete set of genes that are dynamically expressed under given conditions, and to determine the interaction between these genes. Because of cost and resource issues, most time series datasets contain less than 9 points and there are few tools available geared towards the analysis of this type of data.

Results

To this end, we introduce a platform for Processing Expression of Short Time Series (PESTS). It was designed with a focus on usability and interpretability of analyses for the researcher. As such, it implements several standard techniques for comparability as well as visualization functions. However, it is designed specifically for the unique methods we have developed for significance analysis, multiple test correction and clustering of short time series data. The central tenet of these methods is the use of biologically relevant features for analysis. Features summarize short gene expression profiles, inherently incorporate dependence across time, and allow for both full description of the examined curve and missing data points.

Conclusions

PESTS is fully generalizable to other types of time series analyses. PESTS implements novel methods as well as several standard techniques for comparability and visualization functions. These features and functionality make PESTS a valuable resource for a researcher's toolkit. PESTS is available to download for free to academic and non-profit users at http://www.mailman.columbia.edu/academic-departments/biostatistics/research-service/software-development webcite.