36Self-Organizing Maps (SOM)
Self-Organizing Maps (SOM)
Basically being a type of neural network, a Self-Organizing Map (SOM) or Kohonen map is able to place many thousands of entries in a two-dimensional representation, according to overall relatedness. For complex data sets with large numbers of entries, SOM analysis can be the preferred grouping tool. An interesting option of a SOM is that unknown entries can be placed in an existing map with very little computing time, which offers a quick and easy-to-interpret classification tool. BioNumerics has been the first software to apply this exciting technique for biological data.