Question: What are some instances of polythetic datasets in biology? In particular, I am looking for a dataset to benchmark a machine learning algorithm optimized via episodic training.
On polythetic classification
The conventional definition of a conceptual or monothetic class is that its members must possess certain properties in common . For example, in the MNIST database of handwritten digits, images can be classified into 10 distinct classes (i.e. digits) where all instances of any given class possess the same set of attributes (e.g. zeros are typically written as ellipses).
In contrast, a polythetic class encompasses members that might share a number of characteristics, but none of these attributes is essential for membership of that group or class. For example, one could group green zeros together with red ones in one polythetic class, and red zeros together with green ones in another one, as shown below.
Are there any instances of biological datasets with similar properties? I am particularly thinking of genetics data (e.g. single nucleotide polymorphisms) where perhaps a certain mutation A counteracts the effect of mutation B? Any pointers are welcome.