GSAR-package: Gene Set Analysis in R


Package GSAR provides a set of statistical methods for self-contained gene set analysis. It consists of two-sample multivariate nonparametric statistical methods to test a null hypothesis against specific alternative hypotheses, such as differences in shift (functions KStest and MDtest), scale (functions RKStest, RMDtest, and AggrFtest) or correlation structure (function GSNCAtest) between two conditions. It also offers a graphical visualization tool for correlation networks to examine the change in the net correlation structure of a gene set between two conditions (function plotMST2.pathway). The visualization scheme is based on the minimum spanning trees (MSTs). Function findMST2 is used to find the unioin of the first and second MSTs. The same tool works as well for protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks to highlight the most essential interactions among proteins and reveal fine network structure as was already shown in Zybailov et. al. 2016. Function findMST2.PPI is used to find the unioin of the first and second MSTs of PPI networks. Some of the methods available in this package were proposed in Rahmatallah et. al. 2014 and Friedman and Rafsky 1979. The performance of different methods available in this package was thoroughly tested using simulated data and microarray datasets in Rahmatallah et. al. 2012 and Rahmatallah et. al. 2014. These methods can also be applied to RNA-Seq count data given that proper normalization is used. Proper normalization must take into account both the within-sample differences (mainly gene length) and between-samples differences (library size or sequencing depth). However, because the count data often follows the negative binomial distribution, special attention should be paid to applying the variance tests (RKStest, RMDtest, and AggrFtest). The variance of the negative binomial distribution is proportional to it's mean and multivariate tests of variance designed specifically for RNA-seq count data are virtually unavailable. The performance of variance tests in this package with count data highly depends on the used normalization and remains currenly under-explored.


Yasir Rahmatallah <>, Galina Glazko <>

Maintainer: Yasir Rahmatallah <>, Galina Glazko <>


Rahmatallah Y., Emmert-Streib F. and Glazko G. (2014) Gene sets net correlations analysis (GSNCA): a multivariate differential coexpression test for gene sets. Bioinformatics 30, 360–368.

Rahmatallah Y., Emmert-Streib F. and Glazko G. (2012) Gene set analysis for self-contained tests: complex null and specific alternative hypotheses. Bioinformatics 28, 3073–3080.

Friedman J. and Rafsky L. (1979) Multivariate generalization of the Wald-Wolfowitz and Smirnov two-sample tests. Ann. Stat. 7, 697–717.

Zybailov B., Byrd A., Glazko G., Rahmatallah Y. and Raney K. (2016) Protein-protein interaction analysis for functional characterization of helicases. Methods, doi:10.1016/j.ymeth.2016.04.014.

See Also


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