Rate Your Gate

We developed a cool game to test your gating skills called - not surprisingly - Rate Your Gate. The game asks the question how accurately can you quantify number of events using traditional hand-drawn gates? We think accuracy is something the flow cytometry community doesn't question often enough, and this little game is revealing some pretty interesting stuff on the subject.

On this page we'll explain the game, and you'll find links to see results of games we've run at various user-group meetings and conferences. We've left the participants' names out so that nobody is embarassed by how well they might have done...

The Game

We have a set of generated data files with known "truth" values. The files are disarmingly simple when viewed as dot plots, but they present real challenges for accurately gating them. The game starts with an example file and gate regions already drawn so that you can see how it is done.

All you have to do is draw 9 regions to identify 3 levels of expression in 3 different parameters. Easy right? Not so fast - there's more. We tell you that the expression levels increase in Param1 as a function of progression: the youngest cells have the lowest expression, the oldest cells have the highest expression. You could do that on a 1P histogram like this:

Still, should be a piece of cake, right? OK, the twist is that you also have to decide if the expression levels increase or decrease for Param2, and then again for Param3...

Hang on - don't run away - you can do this! The colors from the first 3 regions help you undersand what happens with Param2 and Param3.

And at this point, we load in the data file that YOU get to analyze (one of the 73 files we generated for the game). We throw away the regions from the example file and leave you to draw you regions and win the game! Sounds like fun, right? When you're done, we drop your 9 numbers into an Excel spreadsheet that gives you a Reduced Chi-Squared score of how close you came to the "truth".

...and then we show you how GemStone handles the same file - completely automatically - and gets a score that's on the order of 10-times better by accounting for the population overlaps. Yep, you were right, there had to be a catch...

Contest Results

Cyto2011 Rate Your Gate contest results

Get the Data Files

Data files used in this contest are available for download on our Accuracy Initiative web site. Click here.