RCy3: Network biology using Cytoscape from within R [version 3; peer review: 3 approved]


RCy3 is an R package in Bioconductor that communicates with Cytoscape via its REST API, providing access to the full feature set of Cytoscape from within the R programming environment. RCy3 has been redesigned to streamline its usage and future development as part of a broader Cytoscape Automation effort. Over 100 new functions have been added, including dozens of helper functions specifically for intuitive data overlay operations. Over 40 Cytoscape apps have implemented automation support so far, making hundreds of additional operations accessible via RCy3. Two-way conversion with networks from extit{igraph} and extit{graph} ensures interoperability with existing network biology workflows and dozens of other Bioconductor packages. These capabilities are demonstrated in a series of use cases involving public databases, enrichment analysis pipelines, shortest path algorithms and more. With RCy3, bioinformaticians will be able to quickly deliver reproducible network biology workflows as integrations of Cytoscape functions, complex custom analyses and other R packages.

F1000Research. 8:1774