Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 437987, 9 pages
Research Article

Big Data Analytics in Immunology: A Knowledge-Based Approach

1Department of Computer Science, Metropolitan College, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA
2Cancer Vaccine Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Received 31 March 2014; Accepted 7 May 2014; Published 22 June 2014

Academic Editor: Francesco Pappalardo

Copyright © 2014 Guang Lan Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


With the vast amount of immunological data available, immunology research is entering the big data era. These data vary in granularity, quality, and complexity and are stored in various formats, including publications, technical reports, and databases. The challenge is to make the transition from data to actionable knowledge and wisdom and bridge the knowledge gap and application gap. We report a knowledge-based approach based on a framework called KB-builder that facilitates data mining by enabling fast development and deployment of web-accessible immunological data knowledge warehouses. Immunological knowledge discovery relies heavily on both the availability of accurate, up-to-date, and well-organized data and the proper analytics tools. We propose the use of knowledge-based approaches by developing knowledgebases combining well-annotated data with specialized analytical tools and integrating them into analytical workflow. A set of well-defined workflow types with rich summarization and visualization capacity facilitates the transformation from data to critical information and knowledge. By using KB-builder, we enabled streamlining of normally time-consuming processes of database development. The knowledgebases built using KB-builder will speed up rational vaccine design by providing accurate and well-annotated data coupled with tailored computational analysis tools and workflow.