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Dynamic Two-Way Seriation

Two-way seriation is a popular technique to analyse groups of similar instances and their features, as well as the connections between the groups themselves. The two-way seriated data may be visualized as a two-dimensional heat map or as a three-dimensional landscape where colour codes or height correspond to the values in the matrix. Ordinary two-way seriation can also be extended to deal with updates of both the row and column spaces. Combined with visualization, this method gives a powerful way of studying time-evolving data set [1-2].

This packages provides an implementation of the dynamic two-way incremental seriation based on a Hamiltonian path. It takes a sparse term-document matrix provided in libsvm format, and calculates the seriation of the term space. Several distance functions are available.


Given an input matrix in sparse libsvm format, the class DynamicBiseriation will calculate the biseriation of the matrix. Given a sequence of matrices, it will calculate the updates to the biseration. Different distance functions and biseriation heuristics are available.

Command-Line Interface

The full functionality of the package is exposed though the command line:

$ java -jar DynamicBiseriation.jar [options] collection_file [update_files]


-d Distance   Distance function (default: Euclidean):
-h heuristic  Heuristic type (default: leftright):


$ java -jar DynamicBiseriation.jar test_data/collection.dat
$ java -jar -d Correlation -h insert DynamicBiseriation.jar \
    test_data/collection.dat test_data/collection-update.dat

Application Programming Interface

For integrating with a larger project, an API is available through the DynamicBiseriation class. The generic procedure is to first calculate the biseration on the initial subset of a data collection:

	DynamicBiseriation dynamicBiseriation = new DynamicBiseriation(
			collection, distance, heuristic);

This can be followed by an arbitrary number of updates to the collection:

	while (args.length>argc){
		String collectionUpdate = args[argc++];

For full documentation on the functions, refer to the JavaDoc.


Issuing ant jar compiles the classes and create the jar file in build/jar.


This work was supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme under Grant Agreement Numbers ICT-216736 SHAMAN and FP7-601138 PERICLES.


[1] Darányi, S. & Wittek, P. (2013). Demonstrating Conceptual Dynamics in an Evolving Text Collection. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 64(12), pp. 2564--2572. PDF

[2] Wittek, P. (2013). Two-Way Incremental Seriation in the Temporal Domain with Three-dimensional Visualization: Making Sense of Evolving High-Dimensional Data Sets. Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, 66, pp. 193--201. PDF