Multiple List Comparator

Introduction

Multiple List Comparator is an online application for comparison of two or more lists to find shared items. The comparison results are presented both grafically and as item listings.

Settings and List Input

Before any analysis, the required number of empty list forms has to be prepared. To get this done fill the number of lists to be prepared in the input field labeled "Number of lists" and click the Set button (all existing lists will be discarded). To add a list form to the existing set of forms, click the large plus button located just after the last list form. The program expects an input in the form of simple item lists i.e. with one item per line. If the source data are to be loaded from files, the files should be plain text files (no formatting) containing one item per each line.

Alternatively, lists can be input as tabular data wherein each lists corresponds to one table column. To input tabular data, click the "Tabular input" heading to display the data input panel. The data can be supplied either as a file or directly pasted in the text area provided in the panel. In both cases, the values have to be delimiter-separated and the delimiter has to be properly selected from the options available in the upper left corner of the panel. Next, choose if you want to replace any existing data or combine all the data. If the data contains list/column headers make sure to check the related option in order to parse the list names. Lastly, click the Read Data button to load the data in the program. Check if the values have got properly distributed into the individual input lists. If not, check the delimiter choice and appearance of the data. The problem may also be caused by presence of additional text lines preceding the data. Such lines have to be removed manually.

Before starting an analysis check the additional settings to comply your intentions. Namely, if the list items should be compared in case-sensitive fashion, if words separated with commas should be parsed as individual items, and how should pairwise intersections be displayed. To trigger the analysis or update results after changing the settings, click the Compare button. To erase all fields and start all over, click the Clear All button.

Understanding the Results

The graphical output of the analysis comes in the form of a Venn diagram in case of 2 - 4 lists and for 3 or more lists, the app will output a table of all pairwise intersections overlaid with a heatmap highlighting sizes of the intersections by increasing saturation of yellow-orange color. Depending on what has been selected in the app settings the colorization either corresponds to total sizes of the intersections or to Jaccard index values. In the latter case the indices are displayed in smaller font under the intersection sizes. All numbers indicating subset sizes both in the Venn diagram and in the pairwise intersection table are clickable and the corresponding lists of items will be displayed in the table just next (or below) the graphics.

The last part of the results is a tabular listing of all items shared by at least two lists. The shared items are ordered by number of lists sharing the item so the intersection of all lists (if there is any) is listed at the top of the table.

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