Transmorph: a unifying computational framework for modular single-cell RNA-seq data integration
Data integration of single-cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq) data describes the task of embedding datasets gathered from different sources or experiments into a common representation so that cells with similar types or states are embedded close to one another independently from their dataset of origin. Data integration is a crucial step in most scRNA-seq data analysis pipelines involving multiple batches. It improves data visualization, batch effect reduction, clustering, label transfer, and cell type inference. Many data integration tools have been proposed during the last decade, but a surge in the number of these methods has made it difficult to pick one for a given use case. Furthermore, these tools are provided as rigid pieces of software, making it hard to adapt them to various specific scenarios. In order to address both of these issues at once, we introduce the transmorph framework. It allows the user to engineer powerful data integration pipelines and is supported by a rich software ecosystem. We demonstrate transmorph usefulness by solving a variety of practical challenges on scRNA-seq datasets including joint datasets embedding, gene space integration, and transfer of cycle phase annotations. transmorph is provided as an open source python package.