Background: Computational identification of cooperative transcription factor (TF) pairs helps understand the combinatorial regulation of gene expression in eukaryotic cells. Many advanced algorithms have been proposed to predict cooperative TF pairs in yeast. However, it is still difficult to conduct a comprehensive and objective performance comparison of different algorithms because of lacking sufficient performance indices and adequate overall performance scores. To solve this problem, in our previous study (published in BMC Systems Biology 2014), we adopted/proposed eight performance indices and designed two overall performance scores to compare the performance of 14 existing algorithms for predicting cooperative TF pairs in yeast. Most importantly, our performance comparison framework can be applied to comprehensively and objectively evaluate the performance of a newly developed algorithm. However, to use our framework, researchers have to put a lot of effort to construct it first. To save researchers time and effort, here we develop a web tool to implement our performance comparison framework, featuring fast data processing, a comprehensive performance comparison and an easy-to-use web interface. Results: The developed tool is called PCTFPeval (Predicted Cooperative TF Pair evaluator), written in PHP and Python programming languages. The friendly web interface allows users to input a list of predicted cooperative TF pairs from their algorithm and select (i) the compared algorithms among the 15 existing algorithms, (ii) the performance indices among the eight existing indices, and (iii) the overall performance scores from two possible choices. The comprehensive performance comparison results are then generated in tens of seconds and shown as both bar charts and tables. The original comparison results of each compared algorithm and each selected performance index can be downloaded as text files for further analyses. Conclusions: Allowing users to select eight existing performance indices and 15 existing algorithms for comparison, our web tool benefits researchers who are eager to comprehensively and objectively evaluate the performance of their newly developed algorithm. Thus, our tool greatly expedites the progress in the research of computational identification of cooperative TF pairs.
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