### Abstract

This thesis applies a hierarchical latent trait model system to a large quantity of data. The motivation for it was lack of viable approaches to analyse High Throughput Screening datasets which maybe include thousands of data points with high dimensions.High Throughput Screening (HTS) is an important tool in the pharmaceutical industry for discovering leads which can be optimised and further developed into candidate drugs. Since the development of new robotic technologies, the ability to test the activities of compounds has considerably increased in recent years. Traditional methods, looking at tables and graphical plots for analysing relationships between measured activities and the structure of compounds, have not been feasible when facing a large HTS dataset. Instead, data visualisation provides a method for analysing such large datasets, especially with high dimensions. So far, a few visualisation techniques for drug design have been developed, but most of them just cope with several properties of compounds at one time.

We believe that a latent variable model (LTM) with a non-linear mapping from the latent space to the data space is a preferred choice for visualising a complex high-dimensional data set. As a type of latent variable model, the latent trait model can deal with either continuous data or discrete data, which makes it particularly useful in this domain. In addition, with the aid of differential geometry, we can imagine the distribution of data from magnification factor and curvature plots.

Rather than obtaining the useful information just from a single plot, a hierarchical LTM arranges a set of LTMs and their corresponding plots in a tree structure. We model the whole data set with a LTM at the top level, which is broken down into clusters at deeper levels of t.he hierarchy. In this manner, the refined visualisation plots can be displayed in deeper levels and sub-clusters may be found. Hierarchy of LTMs is trained using expectation-maximisation (EM) algorithm to maximise its likelihood with respect to the data sample. Training proceeds interactively in a recursive fashion (top-down). The user subjectively identifies interesting regions on the visualisation plot that they would like to model in a greater detail. At each stage of hierarchical LTM construction, the EM algorithm alternates between the E- and M-step.

Another problem that can occur when visualising a large data set is that there may be significant overlaps of data clusters. It is very difficult for the user to judge where centres of regions of interest should be put. We address this problem by employing the minimum message length technique, which can help the user to decide the optimal structure of the model.

In this thesis we also demonstrate the applicability of the hierarchy of latent trait models in the field of document data mining.

Date of Award | 2002 |
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Original language | English |

Supervisor | Ian T. Nabney (Supervisor) |

### Keywords

- visualisation hierarchies
- the latent trait mode
- the generative topographic mapping
- missing data
- curvature
- magnification factors
- minimum message length