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countsimQC - Compare characteristic features of count data sets
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countsimQC is an R package that provides functionality to create a comprehensive report comparing many different characteristics across multiple count data sets. One important use case is comparing one or more synthetic (e.g., RNA-seq) count matrices to a real count matrix, possibly the one based on which the synthetic data sets were generated. However, any collection of one or more count matrices can be visualized and compared.

If you use countsimQC for your work, we appreciate if you cite the accompanying paper:


countsimQC depends on a number of other R packages. The following commands check whether the dependencies are available and installs them otherwise (note that R version >= 3.5 and Bioconductor version >= 3.8 are required in order to use the BiocManager package). If you have an older version of R (3.4), you can still install countsimQC v0.5.4 (see "Releases"). Please see the NEWS file for differences between versions.

## Install `BiocManager` if needed
if (!("BiocManager" %in% installed.packages()[, "Package"])) {

## List dependencies
pkg <- c("rmarkdown", "edgeR", "DESeq2", "dplyr", "tidyr", "ggplot2", 
         "SummarizedExperiment", "genefilter", "DT", "GenomeInfoDbData",
         "caTools", "randtests", "stats", "utils", "methods")

## Check if dependencies are already installed
pkg <- pkg[!(pkg %in% installed.packages()[, "Package"])]

## If some dependency is missing, install it
if (length(pkg) > 0) {
	BiocManager::install(pkg, dependencies = TRUE, ask = FALSE)

Once all dependencies are available, countsimQC can be installed using the BiocManager package:

## Install countsimQC

Getting started

To run countsimQC and generate a report, you simply need to call the function countsimQCReport(), with an input consisting of a named list of DESeqDataSets (see the DESeq2 package for a description of this class). Each DESeqDataSet should correspond to one data set and contain a count matrix, a data frame with sample information and a design formula, which is needed for proper dispersion calculations. To generate a DESeqDataSet from a count matrix counts, a sample information data frame sample_df and a design formula formula (of the form ~ predictors), you can do as follows:

dds <- DESeqDataSetFromMatrix(countData = counts, 
                              colData = sample_df,
                              design = formula)

There are many other ways of generating valid DESeqDataSets, depending on in what form your counts are (e.g., reading directly from HTSeq output, or from a tximport output object (see the DESeq2 vignette).

countsimQC contains an small example list with subsets of three data sets: two synthetic ones and the real data set that was used to generate them. The following code generates a comparative report for these three data sets:

countsimQCReport(ddsList = countsimExample, 
                 outputFile = "countsimReport.html", 
                 outputDir = "./", 
                 description = "This is a comparison of three count data sets.")

For more detailed information about how to use the package, we refer to the vignette:


Example reports

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