Single-cell technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to effectively characterize cellular heterogeneity in health and disease. Nevertheless, visualisation and interpretation of these multi-dimensional datasets remains a challenge. We present a novel framework, ivis, for dimensionality reduction of single-cell expression data. ivis utilizes a siamese neural network architecture that is trained using a novel triplet loss function. Results on simulated and real datasets demonstrate that ivis preserves global data structures in a low-dimensional space, learns a parametric mapping function that naturally adds new data points to existing embeddings, and scales linearly to hundreds of thousands of cells. ivis is made publicly available through Python and R interfaces on https://github.com/beringresearch/ivis.
Nature Research (part of Springer Nature)