Visual exploration of microbial populations
Studies of the ecology of microbial populations are increasingly common within many research areas as the field of microbiomics develops rapidly. The study of the ecology in sampled microbial populations generates high dimensional data sets. Although many analysis methods are available for examination of such data, a tailored tool was required to fulfill the need of interactivity and flexibility for microbiologists. In this paper, MicrobiVis is presented. It is a tool for visual exploration and interactive analysis of micro-biomic populations. MicrobiVis has been designed in close collaboration with end users. It extends previous interactive systems for explorative dimensionality reduction by including a range of domain relevant features. It contributes a flexible and explorative dimensionality reduction as well as a visual and interactive environment for examination of data subsets. By combining information visualization and methods based on analytic tasks common in microbiology as a means for gaining new and relevant insights. The utility of MicrobiVis is demonstrated through a use case describing how a microbiologist may use the system for a visual analysis of a microbial data set. Its usability and potential is indicated through positive feedback from the current end users.