Exploration of biological network centralities with CentiBiN

Björn H. Junker, Dirk Koschützki, Falk Schreiber

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164 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The elucidation of whole-cell regulatory, metabolic, interaction and other biological networks generates the need for meaningful ranking of network elements. Centrality analysis ranks network elements according to their importance within the network structure and different centrality measures focus on different importance concepts. Central elements of biological networks have been found to be, for example, essential for viability. Results: CentiBiN (Centralities in Biological Networks) is a tool for the computation and exploration of centralities in biological networks such as protein-protein interaction networks. It computes 17 different centralities for directed or undirected networks, ranging from local measures, that is, measures that only consider the direct neighbourhood of a network element, to global measures. CentiBiN supports the exploration of the centrality distribution by visualising central elements within the network and provides several layout mechanisms for the automatic generation of graphical representations of a network. It supports different input formats, especially for biological networks, and the export of the computed centralities to other tools. Conclusion: CentiBiN helps systems biology researchers to identify crucial elements of biological networks. CentiBiN including a user guide and example data sets is available free of charge at http://centibin.ipk-gatersleben.de/. CentiBiN is available in two different versions: a Java Web Start application and an installable Windows application.

Original languageEnglish
Article number219
JournalBMC Bioinformatics
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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