Centre for Statistical & Survey Methodology Working Paper Series

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Motivation: High-throughput flow cytometry experiments produce hundreds of large multivariate samples of cellular characteristics. These samples require specialized processing to obtain clinically meaningful measurements. A major component of this processing is a form of cell subsetting known as gating. Manual gating is time-consuming and subjective. Good automatic and semi-automatic gating algorithms are very beneficial to high-throughput flow cytometry.

Results: We develop a statistical procedure, named curvHDR, for automatic and semi-automatic gating. The method combines the notions of significant high negative curvature regions and highest density regions and has the ability to adapt well to human-perceived gates. The underlying principles apply to dimension of arbitrary size, although we focus on dimensions up to three. Accompanying software, compatible with contemporary flow cytometry informatics, is developed.

Availability: Software for Bioconductor within R is available.