Statistical analysis and optimal classification of blood cell populations using Gaussian distributions

John Steven Riley, Florida International University


This dissertation develops a new figure of merit to measure the similarity (or dissimilarity) of Gaussian distributions through a novel concept that relates the Fisher distance to the percentage of data overlap. The derivations are expanded to provide a generalized mathematical platform for determining an optimal separating boundary of Gaussian distributions in multiple dimensions. Real-world data used for implementation and in carrying out feasibility studies were provided by Beckman-Coulter. It is noted that although the data used is flow cytometric in nature, the mathematics are general in their derivation to include other types of data as long as their statistical behavior approximate Gaussian distributions. Because this new figure of merit is heavily based on the statistical nature of the data, a new filtering technique is introduced to accommodate for the accumulation process involved with histogram data. When data is accumulated into a frequency histogram, the data is inherently smoothed in a linear fashion, since an averaging effect is taking place as the histogram is generated. This new filtering scheme addresses data that is accumulated in the uneven resolution of the channels of the frequency histogram. The qualitative interpretation of flow cytometric data is currently a time consuming and imprecise method for evaluating histogram data. This method offers a broader spectrum of capabilities in the analysis of histograms, since the figure of merit derived in this dissertation integrates within its mathematics both a measure of similarity and the percentage of overlap between the distributions under analysis.

Subject Area

Biomedical research|Biostatistics

Recommended Citation

Riley, John Steven, "Statistical analysis and optimal classification of blood cell populations using Gaussian distributions" (2003). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3085820.