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byconaut Plot functionality

Starting with version v1.0.30 (2023-04-14) the bycon package added the ability to produce the typical Progenetix-style CNV histograms and CNV sample plots, later (bycon v.1.3.4) moved to the byconaut repository.

Plotting services

Plotting "services" are online service endpoints for generating visualizations of mostly CNV data from the databases of the respective beaconized resources. In the case of the developers these would be e.g. and whcich also are being used for the active examples below. The plotting services - which are maintained inside byconaut/services but installed in the corresponding webserver CGI directory - are:

  • services/collationplots/
  • services/sampleplots/

Plotting Applications

Plotting "applications" provide command line utilities for the plotting of database content and local files. These are maintained in the byconaut/bin directory:

  • bin/
  • bin/
  • bin/

Plotting Functionality

Plots can now be generated:

  • for samples and aggregated data using standard Beacon v2 query parameters and filters, through special /services/... endpoints
    • /services/collationplots for pre-computed frequency histograms and heatstrips
    • /services/sampleplots for query-derived sample plots (including histograms)
      • plot selection through plotType= with options histoplot, samplesplot and histoheatplot
      • defaults to histoplot if unspecified
  • for files uploaded through the Progenetix Upload... interface (not terribly stable...)
  • through commabnd line scripts in this project's bin directory, e.g. for provided .pgxseg ... files

Custom syntax for plot parameters

To limit the amount of pre-defined parameters accepted through the bycon interface we are using a special syntax for plot parameters. Plot parameters (see below for all pre-defined ones) are provided as a single string to plotPars parameter, with individual parameter pairs concatenated by :: * in GET: plotPars=plot_chros=8,9,17::labels=8:120000000-123000000:Some+Interesting+Region::plot_gene_symbols=MYCN,TP53,MTAP,CDKN2A,MYC,ERBB2::plot_width=800 * in CMD: --plotPars "plot_chros=8,9,17::labels=8:120000000-123000000:Some Interesting Region::plot_gene_symbols=MYCN,TP53,MTAP,CDKN2A,MYC,ERBB2::plot_width=800"

Plot types

CNV histograms of collations - /services/collationplots

CNV histograms can be generated either (fast) for one or multiple of the "collations" i.e. samples sharing a common code (diagnosis, technnique...) or identifier (cell line id, PMID ...), or as single histogram for the output of a Beacon query.

A complete list of collations can be retrieved through the /services/collations/ endpoint, e.g. /services/collations?datasetIds=progenetix - an option &output=text should provide this as a table instead of Beacon-style JSON response.

Please note that the datasetIds parameter will fall back to the default parameter if not indicated.


The examples below link to

CNV sample plots - /services/sampleplots

Sample selection based plotting uses the standard bycon query stack for sample retrieval (i.e. aggregation over the data model) and then generates CNV plots from the found samples, either as clustered individual profiles or as binned frequency plot data (histograms or heatstrips).

CAVE: Sample plots may be time consuming due to the retrieval and plotting of all variants per sample. Therefore, usually a limit (default or via Beacon limit parameter) is being applied.


Plot parameters

Plot parameters can be given both in snake_case and in the corresponding camelCase format (plot_area_width or plotAreaWidth). Please see the box above for the concatenation syntax!

A detailed list of plot parameters is provided on this page.