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Correlation results wrong for certain traits/datasets


  • assigned: alexm, zsloan, fredm
  • priority: high
  • status: ongoing
  • keywords: correlations


(Note that this uses the update to using GN! text files, but I don't think it's caused by that update)

There are still a few remaining issues with correlations where the results are at least partially wrong. The ones I'm aware of are as follows:


- http://gn2-zach.genenetwork.org/show_trait?trait_id=10710&dataset=BXDPublish (my branch linked because it's using the text file update)

Correlate against "HQF Striatum Affy Mouse Exon 1.0ST Exon Level (Dec09) RMA"

The results are a mix of correct and wrong ones. The top GN2 results have the same r/p values as their GN1 counterparts, but a number of top GN1 results are far lower on the list of GN2 results and have r values that are drastically lower. For example, 5200673 has the same r/p value in both GN1 and GN2, but 5169291 is the top GN1 result (with an r of -0.755), but in GN2 has an r of just 0.275

- https://genenetwork.org/show_trait?trait_id=24638&dataset=BXDPublish

Correlate against BXD Published Phenotypes (the default). These results are almost all wrong, but in a way that is close to correct. I suspect the issue is that 0 values are being ommitted, since this seems to always occur when correlation with traits/datasets that have many sample values of 0.


The second example (with BXDPublish 24638) seems to have a cause that has likely always existed with any trait that has a very small range of values. Because the trait page only shows values out to 3 decimal places, and those values are passed directly from the form, there ends up being a mismatch between it and the values in the DB (which go out to far more decimal places).

There are a couple ways to potentially deal with this, but I think the best might be to just show more decimal places when the range of values is less than a certain amount. This would preserve the ability for users to edit values, which is the reason they're passed from the form instead of just pulled directly from the DB.

The first example seems to have been fixed by this commit - https://github.com/genenetwork/genenetwork2/commit/a2796900a34056cfba2dfa4c995764ea60ff8e45 (which addresses an issue where compute_top_n_sample was being pointlessly run again for Publish trait sample correlations and returning a lot of wrong results)

(made with skribilo)