Question: How do I assess quality of hierarchical clustering?
gravatar for reubenmcgregor88
21 months ago by
reubenmcgregor8840 wrote:

Hi all,

Very generic question and perhaps a bit of a strange one.

I have some data that includes cases and controls. I have created a heatmap and tried some hierarchical clustering using the morpheus software (

What is clear is that no clustering occurs between cases and controls, and this is in fact what we expected and want to show. We want to show that the measured variable does not distinguish between cases and controls.

Apart from saying visually no clear clusters emerge are there ay objective measures that can be used to say no significant clustering occurs between two groups?

Any pointers or reading much appreciated, I am even struggling to think about what search terms to use to look this up.

Thank you

hierarchical clustering • 378 views
ADD COMMENTlink modified 21 months ago by raunakms1.1k • written 21 months ago by reubenmcgregor8840

Are the heat maps on equivalent scales?

ADD REPLYlink written 21 months ago by Joe18k

Yes all the data is one measure on the same scale.

ADD REPLYlink written 21 months ago by reubenmcgregor8840
gravatar for raunakms
21 months ago by
San Francisco
raunakms1.1k wrote:

You could perform bootstrapping experiment (i.e. permuting the data for a large number of times) and then compute the bootstrap p-values for the dendogram. This will provide you p-values of each nodes in the dendogram indicating the confidence on the dendogram structure. If you are using R, the R-package pvclust has in-built functions to perform the bootstrap and visualizing the dendogram.

ADD COMMENTlink written 21 months ago by raunakms1.1k

Thank you for the reply, and I will be using R indeed so pvclust seems very useful!

So this would tell me how robust the nodes in the dendrogram are? Is there a way of carrying out hierarchical clustering but forcing the "cases" and "controls" into groups? If I have interpreted correctly, in this way I could use bootstrapping as suggested to generate a p-value and in my case show there is no good clustering between the two groups?

ADD REPLYlink written 21 months ago by reubenmcgregor8840
Please log in to add an answer.


Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy.
Powered by Biostar version 2.3.0
Traffic: 1346 users visited in the last hour