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Quantifying periodicity in omics data

DOI: 10.3389/fcell.2014.00040

Keywords: periodicity tests, waveform analysis, metabolic oscillation, metabolomics, flow cytometry

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Oscillations play a significant role in biological systems, with many examples in the fast, ultradian, circadian, circalunar, and yearly time domains. However, determining periodicity in such data can be problematic. There are a number of computational methods to identify the periodic components in large datasets, such as signal-to-noise based Fourier decomposition, Fisher's g-test and autocorrelation. However, the available methods assume a sinusoidal model and do not attempt to quantify the waveform shape and the presence of multiple periodicities, which provide vital clues in determining the underlying dynamics. Here, we developed a Fourier based measure that generates a de-noised waveform from multiple significant frequencies. This waveform is then correlated with the raw data from the respiratory oscillation found in yeast, to provide oscillation statistics including waveform metrics and multi-periods. The method is compared and contrasted to commonly used statistics. Moreover, we show the utility of the program in the analysis of noisy datasets and other high-throughput analyses, such as metabolomics and flow cytometry, respectively.


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