MotivationMany types of omics data are compiled as lists of connections between elements and visualized as networks or graphs where the nodes and edges correspond to the elements and the connections, respectively. However, these networks often appear as 'hair-balls'-with a large number of extremely tangled edges-and cannot be visually interpreted.
ResultsWe present an interactive, multiscale navigation method for biological networks. Our approach can automatically and rapidly abstract any portion of a large network of interest to an immediately interpretable extent. The method is based on an ultrafast graph clustering technique that abstracts networks of about 100 000 nodes in a second by iteratively grouping densely connected portions and a biological-property-based clustering technique that takes advantage of biological information often provided for biological entities (e.g. Gene Ontology terms). It was confirmed to be effective by applying it to real yeast protein network data, and would greatly help modern biologists faced with large, complicated networks in a similar manner to how Web mapping services enable interactive multiscale navigation of geographical maps (e.g. Google Maps).
AvailabilityJava implementation of our method, named NaviCluster, is available at http://navicluster.cb.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp/.
Supplementary informationSupplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.