Classification of bioinformatics workflows using weighted versions of partitioning and hierarchical clustering algorithms

Lord, Etienne; Diallo, Abdoulaye Baniré et Makarenkov, Vladimir (2015). « Classification of bioinformatics workflows using weighted versions of partitioning and hierarchical clustering algorithms ». BMC Bioinformatics, 16(1).

Fichier(s) associé(s) à ce document :
Télécharger (2MB)


Background: Workflows, or computational pipelines, consisting of collections of multiple linked tasks are becoming more and more popular in many scientific fields, including computational biology. For example, simulation studies, which are now a must for statistical validation of new bioinformatics methods and software, are frequently carried out using the available workflow platforms. Workflows are typically organized to minimize the total execution time and to maximize the efficiency of the included operations. Clustering algorithms can be applied either for regrouping similar workflows for their simultaneous execution on a server, or for dispatching some lengthy workflows to different servers, or for classifying the available workflows with a view to performing a specific keyword search. Results: In this study, we consider four different workflow encoding and clustering schemes which are representative for bioinformatics projects. Some of them allow for clustering workflows with similar topological features, while the others regroup workflows according to their specific attributes (e.g. associated keywords) or execution time. The four types of workflow encoding examined in this study were compared using the weighted versions of k-means and k-medoids partitioning algorithms. The Calinski-Harabasz, Silhouette and logSS clustering indices were considered. Hierarchical classification methods, including the UPGMA, Neighbor Joining, Fitch and Kitsch algorithms, were also applied to classify bioinformatics workflows. Moreover, a novel pairwise measure of clustering solution stability, which can be computed in situations when a series of independent program runs is carried out, was introduced. Conclusions: Our findings based on the analysis of 220 real-life bioinformatics workflows suggest that the weighted clustering models based on keywords information or tasks execution times provide the most appropriate clustering solutions. Using datasets generated by the Armadillo and Taverna scientific workflow management system, we found that the weighted cosine distance in association with the k-medoids partitioning algorithm and the presence-absence workflow encoding provided the highest values of the Rand index among all compared clustering strategies. The introduced clustering stability indices, PS and PSG, can be effectively used to identify elements with a low clustering support.

Type: Article de revue scientifique
Mots-clés ou Sujets: Bioinformatics workflows, Hierarchical clustering, k-means partitioning, Scientific workflows, Workflow clustering
Unité d'appartenance: Faculté des sciences > Département d'informatique
Déposé par: Vladimir Makarenkov
Date de dépôt: 16 févr. 2016 15:07
Dernière modification: 20 avr. 2016 19:34
Adresse URL :


Voir les statistiques sur cinq ans...