Performing scClassify using pretrained model

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A common application of single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) data is to identify discrete cell types. To take advantage of the large collection of well-annotated scRNA-seq datasets, scClassify package implements a set of methods to perform accurate cell type classification based on ensemble learning and sample size calculation.

This vignette will provide an example showing how users can use a pretrained model of scClassify to predict cell types. A pretrained model is a scClassifyTrainModel object returned by train_scClassify(). A list of pretrained model can be found in

First, install scClassify, install BiocManager and use BiocManager::install to install scClassify package.

# installation of scClassify
if (!requireNamespace("BiocManager", quietly = TRUE)) {

Setting up the data

We assume that you have log-transformed (size-factor normalized) matrices as query datasets, where each row refers to a gene and each column a cell. For demonstration purposes, we will take a subset of single-cell pancreas datasets from one independent study (Wang et al.).

wang_cellTypes <- scClassify_example$wang_cellTypes
exprsMat_wang_subset <- scClassify_example$exprsMat_wang_subset
exprsMat_wang_subset <- as(exprsMat_wang_subset, "dgCMatrix")

Here, we load our pretrained model using a subset of the Xin et al. human pancreas dataset as our reference data.

First, let us check basic information relating to our pretrained model.


In this pretrained model, we have selected the genes based on Differential Expression using limma. To check the genes that are available in the pretrained model:


We can also visualise the cell type tree of the reference data.


Running scClassify

Next, we perform predict_scClassify with our pretrained model trainRes = trainClassExample to predict the cell types of our query data matrix exprsMat_wang_subset_sparse. Here, we used pearson and spearman as similarity metrics.

pred_res <- predict_scClassify(exprsMat_test = exprsMat_wang_subset,
                               trainRes = trainClassExample_xin,
                               cellTypes_test = wang_cellTypes,
                               algorithm = "WKNN",
                               features = c("limma"),
                               similarity = c("pearson", "spearman"),
                               prob_threshold = 0.7,
                               verbose = TRUE)

Noted that the cellType_test is not a required input. For datasets with unknown labels, users can simply leave it as cellType_test = NULL.

Prediction results for pearson as the similarity metric:

table(pred_res$pearson_WKNN_limma$predRes, wang_cellTypes)

Prediction results for spearman as the similarity metric:

table(pred_res$spearman_WKNN_limma$predRes, wang_cellTypes)

Session Info


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scClassify documentation built on Nov. 8, 2020, 8:08 p.m.