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Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography is a powerful technology for separating complex samples and therefore is well suited for non-targeted analysis.
The goal of non-targeted cross-sample analysis is to discover salient chemical characteristics from multiple samples. Applications of non-targeted cross-sample analysis include sample classification, quality control, chemical fingerprinting and biomarker discovery. Non-targeted cross-sample analysis should distinguish and reliably characterize all chemical constituents in each sample, correctly match the corresponding features that characterize each constituent in different samples, and recognize the most significant characteristics or patterns between or among samples. Comprehensive two‑dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) is a powerful technology for separating complex samples and therefore is well suited for non-targeted analysis. GC×GC data is information-rich but is also large and complex, making the analytical tasks of extracting and matching features and then recognizing salient patterns challenging. This review surveys some of the varied approaches that researchers have applied to these difficult problems.