Figure 3: (a) Relative performance of profilers for different ranks and with different error metrics (weighted Unifrac, L1 norm, recall, precision, and false positives), shown here exemplarily for the microbial portion of the first high complexity sample. Each error metric was divided by its maximal value to facilitate viewing on the same scale and relative performance comparisons. A method’s name is given in red (with two asterisks) if it returned no predictions at the corresponding taxonomic rank. (b) Best scoring profilers using different performance metrics summed over all samples and taxonomic ranks to the genus level. A lower score indicates that a method was more frequently ranked highly for a particular metric. The maximum (worst) score for the Unifrac metric is 38 = (18 + 11 + 9) profiling submissions for the low, medium and high complexity datasets respectively), while the maximum score is 190 for all other metrics (= 5 taxonomic ranks * (18 + 11 + 9) profiling submissions for the low, medium and high complexity datasets respectively). (c) Absolute recall and precision for each profiler on the microbial (filtered) portion of the low complexity data set across six taxonomic ranks. Abbreviations are FS (FOCUS), T-P (Taxy-Pro), MP2.0(MetaPhlAn 2.0), MPr (Metaphyler), CK (Common Kmers) and D (DUDes).