Separating common from distinctive variation

Frans M. van der Kloet, Patricia Sebastián-León, Ana Conesa, Age K. Smilde, Johan A. Westerhuis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Joint and individual variation explained (JIVE), distinct and common simultaneous component analysis (DISCO) and O2-PLS, a two-block (X-Y) latent variable regression method with an integral OSC filter can all be used for the integrated analysis of multiple data sets and decompose them in three terms: a low(er)-rank approximation capturing common variation across data sets, low(er)-rank approximations for structured variation distinctive for each data set, and residual noise. In this paper these three methods are compared with respect to their mathematical properties and their respective ways of defining common and distinctive variation. Results: The methods are all applied on simulated data and mRNA and miRNA data-sets from GlioBlastoma Multiform (GBM) brain tumors to examine their overlap and differences. When the common variation is abundant, all methods are able to find the correct solution. With real data however, complexities in the data are treated differently by the three methods. Conclusions: All three methods have their own approach to estimate common and distinctive variation with their specific strength and weaknesses. Due to their orthogonality properties and their used algorithms their view on the data is slightly different. By assuming orthogonality between common and distinctive, true natural or biological phenomena that may not be orthogonal at all might be misinterpreted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number195
JournalBMC Bioinformatics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Integrated analysis
  • JIVE
  • Multiple data-sets
  • O2-PLS


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