We demonstrate a concept and implementation of a compendium for the classification of high-dimensional data from microarray gene expression profiles. A compendium is an interactive document that bundles primary data, statistical processing methods, figures, and derived data together with the textual documentation and conclusions. Interactivity allows the reader to modify and extend these components. We address the following questions: how much does the discriminatory power of a classifier depend on the choice of the algorithm that was used to identify it; what alternative classifiers could be used just as well; how robust is the result. The answers to these questions are essential prerequisites for validation and biological interpretation of the classifiers. We show how to use this approach by looking at these questions for a specific breast cancer microarray data set that first has been studied by Huang et al. (2003).
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