- Research
- Open Access
Short read DNA fragment anchoring algorithm
- Wendi Wang†^{1}Email author,
- Peiheng Zhang†^{1} and
- Xinchun Liu†^{1}
https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2105-10-S1-S17
© Wang et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009
- Published: 30 January 2009
Abstract
Background
The emerging next-generation sequencing method based on PCR technology boosts genome sequencing speed considerably, the expense is also get decreased. It has been utilized to address a broad range of bioinformatics problems. Limited by reliable output sequence length of next-generation sequencing technologies, we are confined to study gene fragments with 30~50 bps in general and it is relatively shorter than traditional gene fragment length. Anchoring gene fragments in long reference sequence is an essential and prerequisite step for further assembly and analysis works. Due to the sheer number of fragments produced by next-generation sequencing technologies and the huge size of reference sequences, anchoring would rapidly becoming a computational bottleneck.
Results and discussion
We compared algorithm efficiency on BLAT, SOAP and EMBF. The efficiency is defined as the count of total output results divided by time consumed to retrieve them. The data show that our algorithm EMBF have 3~4 times efficiency advantage over SOAP, and at least 150 times over BLAT. Moreover, when the reference sequence size is increased, the efficiency of SOAP will get degraded as far as 30%, while EMBF have preferable increasing tendency.
Conclusion
In conclusion, we deem that EMBF is more suitable for short fragment anchoring problem where result completeness and accuracy is predominant and the reference sequences are relatively large.
Keywords
- Reference Sequence
- Index Structure
- Range Query
- Frequency Vector
- Query Algorithm
Background
The emerging next-generation sequencing method based on PCR technology boosts genome sequencing speed considerably, the expense is also get decreased. It has been utilized to address a broad range of bioinformatics problems including: gene re-sequencing, polymorphism detection, small RNAs analysis, transcriptome profiling, chromatin remodelling, and etc. Limited by reliable output sequence length of next-generation sequencing technologies, we are confined to study gene fragments with 30~50 bps in general [1] and it is relatively shorter than traditional gene fragment length. For example: In [2], researchers used sequences in 2 K~100 Kbps range for gene alignment algorithm study. Genome query algorithm studied in [3], is based on 600 bps gene fragment in average. So we cannot use those older assembly or query algorithms on short-read sequences directly [4]. On the other hand, because of inefficiency, those existing algorithms cannot fully explore the high-throughput capability of next-generation sequencing devices. To illustrate the existing gap between raw data generating and processing speed, we take the throughput capability of Genome Analyzer System from Illumina for evaluation [1]. Meanwhile, we conservatively presume that the covering factor for re-sequencing process is 20. The net output sequence size would be 30 Gbps in single read mode (60 Gbps in paired read mode) for human gene. To evaluate the up-to-date processing speed, we use the 134 s/5 Mbps speed data from SOAP [5], also assume that this speed could be scaled linearly. By brief calculation, there will be at least 134*30 Gbps/5 Mbps = 228.7 CPU hours to match the raw data output capabilities!
Anchoring gene fragments in long reference sequences is an essential and prerequisite step for further assembly and analysis works. Due to the sheer number of fragments produced by next-generation sequencing technologies and the huge size of reference sequences, anchoring would rapidly becoming a computational bottleneck [6]. Also the accuracy and completeness of anchoring results would influence the quality of assembly result drastically. Basically, to solve the anchoring problem, we need to address three issues: (1) Error-tolerant strategies should be included. As a result, the candidate hit space will get amplified. Properly filtering out false-positive positions is the key to achieve high accuracy and speed; (2) For short-read sequences, new query paradigm should be devised to replace de facto "Seed-and-Extend" paradigm; (3) Deal with possible system degradation caused by huge data size or query count.
In this paper we divided sequence anchoring work into 2 phases: first an index structure based on frequency transformation was used to rule out most unqualified searching areas; in phase 2, an accurate matching process based on simplified Smith-Waterman algorithm[7] (SW for short) was used. The rest of the paper is organized as following: the remaining of this section will introduces some related works on gene sequence query algorithms. We introduce our algorithm in methods section, including how to identify differences between sequences and how to build index structure efficiently. We give experiment data to evaluate the performance of our algorithm in results section and followed by conclusions and future works as final section.
As gene sequences could be expressed as readable strings, lots of common string matching algorithms [8] could be used directly to solve the gene sequence query problem. In order to improve efficiency, sensitivity or accuracy of the baseline solution, quite a lot of research works have been done [9–12]. In general, we could categorize the sequence query problems into k-NN and range query [13]. If we care about highly identical results only, k-NN query would be helpful, where the query process could terminate after finding enough results of interests. In range query, the executing time and result accuracy could be fine-turned by initial parameters to suit for wide range of applications.
The various requirements from different bioinformatics applications result in performance and implementation divergence between different query algorithms. When data set and query count are relatively small, the traditional brute-force algorithms [7, 14] could bring all needed data into memory, thus acceptable performance could be achieved without pre-processing work. However, the complexity of those algorithms will become intractable when problems size and query count get increased. By pre-processing the reference sequences and build fast searching index structure, we could avoid those unnecessary traverses of all data in each query request. To handle the index explosion [15–17], compression based indexing techniques are introduced in [18–20]. In [21], based on frequency and wavelet transformation, the researchers devised a multi-dimensional indexing method for fast sequence similarity search in DNA and protein database. On the other hand, when the query sequences remain unchanged, or we want to detect specific patterns in reference sequences, pre-processing the query sequence as well could be used to improve performance, such as HMM [22, 23], FSM [17], suffix-tree [24] methods.
Best performance could be delivered by separating query work into two phases: approximate filtering and accurate matching. And it has been utilized by most query algorithms recently. The essential reason behind this method is that filtering work is relatively simpler than matching one, however with some degradation of result accuracy. Fast ruling out unqualified areas by filtering work, the workload passed to matching phase could be greatly reduced. Furthermore, we could transform the filtering work to frequency space problem, and make balance between efficiency and accuracy of different transforming mechanism. The matching phase could also be accelerated by converting it to sorting [18], best seed generating [25], covering and error rate model [19], approximate string matching [17], longest common substring [26] or other equivalent problems to solve.
On the other hand, usually researchers are concerning about the sensitivity and error rate of query results. We could evaluate the sensitivity as the completeness of result; it indicates that if all quantified positions could be found. And the error rate is antonym of accuracy; it could be expressed as if there have any false-positive positions in output results. These parameters would become fluctuated under different query workloads. By introducing scoring matrix to measure difference between bio-sequences, like BLOSUM [27], PAM [28], suitable matrix could be used for specific applications in order to get high sensitivity and low error rate; some algorithms, as SSAHA [3], MRS [13], Pattern Hunter [25], resort to find a biological independent and generalized algorithm. The sensitivity and error rate are differed from one and another; for the other algorithms, as BLAT [18], IDC based method [19], the output result is deeply influenced by the similarity between input sequences. To get expected sensitivity and error rate, these methods require input sequences comply with certain restrictions.
The research area for short-read sequencing technology is relatively new, however there already have some basic achievements. In [4, 29], short read sequence alignment algorithms are devised. Also, there exists some solutions to solve short read sequence anchoring problem, as Maq [30] could handle 2~3 miss match error; SOAP could handle either 1~3 continuous gap error or 1~2 miss match errors in querying and aligning problems.
Methods
The algorithms studied in this paper could be expressed as range query with error tolerance of 2 miss match or 1 gap, and is dedicated to Illumina-Solexa sequencing technology. The sequence errors are largely incurred by equipment and experiment process fault, as the high per base read accuracy (> 98.5%) given in [1], considering arbitrary errors would be unnecessary. Because of those included errors, during comparing process, if the two sequences under test cannot be identified as equal, measuring metrics should be established to capture their difference. Instead of doing the time consuming char-by-char comparison work directly, we could transform given string into multi-radix frequency vector, and using various vector approximation or compression methods to simplify comparing cost [15]. In following section, we will use 8 bps fixed window length to sample reference sequences and then transform those extracted substrings to correlated frequency vectors over a 4-dimentional frequency space. Also an Euler distance is introduced to capture vector variation in this space.
Frequency transforming
The definition of Euler distance is relatively simple as following.
Definition 1 The Euler operation on a m-radix vector V = {v_{1}, v_{2},..., v_{m}} is to add another equal dimensional vector C = {c_{1}, c_{2},..., c_{m}} on it.
Definition 3 An Euler operation on a valid frequency vector F = {f_{1}, f_{2} ..., f_{m}} is valid, if the result vector F' = {f'_{1}, f'_{2},..., f'_{m}} is still valid.
In order to maintain the validity of Euler operation, we need to restrict the content of transforming vector C in theorem 1.
Theorem 1 For valid transforming vector C and valid frequency vector V, if c_{i} = -1 then v_{i}! = 0 holds for each element in C and V, then after apply vector C on V, the result vector is valid.
Proof: C is valid, so there have only 2 non-zero elements in C, note as c_{i} = 1, and c_{j} = -1. After Euler operation we get result vector V', where only two elements differ from V as: v'_{i} = v_{i}+c_{i} = v_{i}+1, v'_{j} = v_{j}+c_{j} = v_{j}-1. Because v_{j}! = 0, v_{i} < n, we get 0 ≤ v'_{i}, v'_{j} ≤ n and ∑v'_{i} = ∑v_{i}+1-1 = ∑v_{i}. As V is valid so ∑v_{i} = n holds, we get ∑v'_{i} = n. According to definition 2, V' is valid.
Definition 4 We call two valid frequency vector V_{1} and V_{2} are similar, if |V_{1}| = |V_{2}| and ∑V_{1} = ∑V_{2} holds.
Definition 5 The Euler distance between two similar frequency vectors is defined as minimal Euler operation required to transform one frequency vector into the other.
Until now, we haven't considered gap errors when building transforming vectors yet. The gap errors would incur the offset of consecutive sequence, so it contradicts with the method introduced in this section where accurate positional information is used. However, in following section, this problem could be solved properly by a block-reading technique with initial offset.
Blocked frequency transforming
Although by calculating Euler distance between two frequency vectors, the time-consuming char-by-char comparing work could be avoided. However, after the converting work, certain positional information will get lost. Moreover the sampling window length is restricted by the total sequences length we studied in this paper, so we devised a novel way to pre-processing reference sequences: firstly, the original sequences were divided into blocks, and then frequency transforming was taken on each individual block, finally we using 4 consecutive blocks to build a 4-dimensional bounding space similar as the 2-dimensional MBR given in [13]. It's clear that the positional information between blocks is maintained, while with some information loss within each block. The Euler distance between query and reference sequences is calculated by sum the 4 block's ECD value respectively. Next, we introduce valid partition concept for dividing gene sequence into blocks.
Definition 6 The partition result of a given sequence S = s_{1}s_{2} ... s_{n} is a set of blocks B = {b_{1}, b_{2},..., b_{k}}. If B satisfies following conditions: (i) For any element s_{i} ∈ S, there have and only have one block say b_{j} in B, so that s_{i} ∈ b_{j}. (ii) All elements in B are nonempty. We say this partition B is valid.
Definition 7 For a valid partition B, if the covering rate keeps above p with any drop of ε blocks, we say B is a ε-p partition.
Coding results for variable sampling window length.
Sample window length | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
Vector count | 4 | 10 | 20 | 35 | 56 | 84 | 120 | 165 | 220 |
Binary coding length | 2 | 4 | 6 | 8 | 10 | 12 | 14 | 16 | 18 |
Vector coding length | 2 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 6 | 7 | 7 | 8 | 8 |
Compression rate | 0% | 0% | 16.7% | 25% | 40% | 41.7% | 50% | 50% | 55.6% |
Filtering and matching algorithm
Before give out our algorithm, we make formal definition of filtering and matching problem first.
Definition 8 For restriction p ≥ 0, assume that S could be divided equally into n blocks with equal length. If there have at least n-p blocks which have one-by-one mapping relationship with n-p blocks within the other sequence T, then we say S, T has hit relation under restriction p.
Definition 9 For restriction G ≥ 0, M ≥ 0, if sequence S and T satisfy either of two following conditions: (1) If there have G_{1} gaps in S, G_{2} gaps in T, and G_{1}+G_{2} ≤ G. The remaining min{|S|-G_{1},|T|-G_{2}} positions in S and T are identical. (2) If there have M miss matches in S and T, the remaining min{|S|-M,|T|-M} positions in S and T are identical. We say that S, T has match relation under restriction G and M.
Definition 10 Give sequence S and T, and assume that |S| > |T|, set maximum tolerated miss match errors to M, and maximum tolerated gap errors to G. The filtering problem is to find any offset i in S, so that S [i, i+|T|-1] and T have hit relation under restriction max(M, G).
Similarly, we could define the matching problem as following, and theorem 2 explains the correlation between filtering and matching relationship.
Definition 11 Give same conditions as in definition 10. The matching problem is to find any offset i in S, so that S [i, i+|T|-1] and T have match relation under restriction G and M.
Theorem 2 For sequence S and T, hit relation is a necessary condition for their matching relation.
Proof: Assume that S and T have matching relation, however don't have hit relation. According to definition 8, for restriction p = MAX{G, M}, the number of blocks in S and T which have one-to-one correspondence will less than n-p, namely the miss match block number q will large than p. When those unmatched blocks was caused by gap errors, as G_{1}+G_{2} = q > p = MAX{G, M} ≥ G, we get G_{1}+G_{2} > G. Similarly, when those unmatched blocks was caused by miss errors only, we will get q > M. It contradicts with definition 9, so the assumption is incorrect, and the theorem holds.
Procedure of EMBF algorithm.
Input: Block length L, n bps reference sequence S, m bps query sequence T, miss match error threshold M, gap error threshold G. |
---|
Let B1 = ⌊n/L⌋, B2 = ⌊m/L⌋, E = MAX(M, G); |
1. For offset = 1 to L do |
1.1 Divide S [offset, n] into L bps blocks, as S_{offset} = {s_{offset,1},..., s_{offset, B1}}; |
1.2 Convert S_{offset}to frequency vectors, as ES_{offset} = {es_{offset,1},..., es_{offset, B1}}; |
2. For offset = 1 to L do |
2.1 Sequentially choose B2 blocks from ES_{offset}, and set the start position as p; Using all possible combinations to get B2-E blocks. And combine them as ADDR variable. Set the remaining E blocks as r; |
2.2 Mapping pair (ADDR,(r, p)) into a hash map M, and chaining possible conflicts; |
2.3 Iteratively scan ES_{offset} for next B2 blocks in ES_{offset}; |
3 First level filtering process |
3.1 Divide T into L bps blocks, as T = {t_{1}, t_{2},..., t_{B2}} and convert them to frequency vector as ET = {et_{1}, et_{2},..., et_{B2}}; |
3.2 Choose B2-E blocks from ET and combining them as ADDR variable, set the remaining E blocks as t; |
3.3 Query ADDR in M and pass all returned results as R = {(r_{1}, p_{1}), (r_{2}, p_{2}),...... } to step 4; |
4 For i = 1 to | R| do |
if ECD(t, r_{i}) < E then record p_{i}; |
Output: All recorded p _{ i } from step 4. |
The filtering output results will have some false-positive errors, so detailed matching phase is needed to refine those raw results. The difference on total length between query and reference sequence is oblivious, also the expected arbitrary errors in each reading frames are also limited. A simplified version of SW algorithm which only consider those leading diagonal and some sub-diagonals are already efficient enough. For example, to tolerate G gap errors, by transposing the scoring matrix, we could confine our query space to G+1 diagonal in upper/lower triangular score matrix. Compared with systolic array, the computational complexity is optimized from O(n^{2}) to O(Gn+n), the space complexity is improved from O(n) to O(G+1).
Fine-grained parallelization
Executing time analysis of EMBF
Data Set | Filtering | Matching | Addressing | Others |
---|---|---|---|---|
33.7 Mbps | 38.93% | 42.13% | 3.57% | 15.37% |
69.3 Mbps | 41.00% | 38.71% | 3.06% | 17.23% |
134 Mbps | 63.78% | 22.41% | 1.6% | 12.12% |
Results and discussion
We used 4, 7, 11 and X human genome contig sequences from NCBI [31] to synthesize the reference data sets with total size of 33.7 Mbps, 69.3 Mbps, 134 Mbps and 359 Mbps each. The short read sequences were synthesized by randomly extract 32 bps fragments from each data set and insert arbitrary miss match or gap error into them. To rewrite synthesized sequence we introduce 1 miss match with possibility of 8%, 1% for 2 miss matches and 1% for 1 gap. The remaining 90% are left untouched. The SW algorithm, BLAT and SOAP algorithms are tested against EMBF to compare their performance. In order to eliminate possible infection caused by pre-processing and warm-up step, only the computing kernels are profiled blow.
The BLAT and SOAP algorithms have a broader error tolerant capacity than EMBF does, so we carefully adjusted the input parameters for BLAT and SOAP in order to minimize this influence. For example we set the tile size in BLAT to 10 bps, and using the ooc tag to enable the masking strategy for overused tiles introduced in BLAT, also the maximum gap between tile was set to 1; for SOAP 12 bps seed was used, it is set to scan both chain and output all hit results, also the allowed miss match and gap errors were set to 2 and 1 respectively. The memory utilization was largely due to the space cost to implement different index structures, which will be analyzed in following section.
Index structure overheads
Memory consumption to implement index structure (MB).
Index name | First-level | Second-level | Total |
---|---|---|---|
EMBF-12 bps | 28.24 | 247 | 275.24 |
EMBF-16 bps | 49 | 99 | 148 |
BTree-11 bps | 176 | 397 | 573 |
BTree-16 bps | 342 | 397 | 739 |
BLAT | - | - | 60 |
SOAP | - | - | 562 |
Filtering result analysis
Performance analysis
Relative speedup comparison.
Speedup | EMBF | EMBF-3# | SW | BLAT | SOAP |
---|---|---|---|---|---|
EMBF | 1 | 1/1.57 | 48838 | 42.66 | 1/3.1 |
EMBF-3# | 1 | 76734 | 67.02 | 1/1.97 | |
SW | 1 | 1/1145 | 1/151385 | ||
BLAT | 1 | 1/132.3 | |||
SOAP | 1 |
Result accuracy comparison.
Algorithm | 33.7 Mbps | 69.3 Mbps | 134 Mbps |
---|---|---|---|
SW | 202676 | 300375 | NO DATA |
EMBF | 202676 | 300375 | 1433261 |
EMBF-3# | 129930 | 198788 | 900084 |
SOAP | 24544 | 47202 | 107297 |
BLAT | 44298 | 77891 | 217973 |
BLAT-OOC10 | 42907 | 76840 | 213766 |
Efficiency and scalability analysis
Conclusion
By defining a gapless Euler distance and a sequence reading technique with initial offset, we introduce a frequency transforming method based on fix-length blocking mechanism. In our approach, the filtering phase could considerably alleviate the workload passed to the time-consuming matching phase, and in turn those false-positive results caused by inaccuracy of filtering process could be further refined. In order to accelerate filtering speed, a two-level index structure based on hash method is developed. By adjusting input parameters, as index seed length and the size of reference sequences, we could trade off between implementation and query overheads to get optimized performance. We also show that to avoid the unnecessary data sharing, a large centralized index structure could be divided to smaller distributed ones, which is much more suitable for massive parallelization. Efficiency of EMBF algorithm is 3~4 times better than up-to-date fastest one, while with comparable executing overheads. Moreover when problems size gets increased, the efficiency of EMBF have preferable increasing tendency. Also EMBF was devised for short sequences, where the length is usually around than 30~50 bps, when the length of query sequence get increased we could use enlarged sampling window length to make it more adaptive, however their need further experiments to evaluate efficiency of EMBF under different input sequence length, which will be list as future work.
In conclusion, we deem that EMBF is more suitable for short sequence anchoring problem where result completeness and accuracy is predominant and the reference sequences are relatively large. The future work includes: developing of specialized hardware devices to accelerate the index access, exploration and implementation of fine-grained parallelism, index compression, revise the algorithm to consider arbitrary errors and input length.
Notes
Declarations
Acknowledgements
We are grateful for the resourceful feedback from our anonymous reviewers and Dongbo Bu at the Bioinformatics Lab, University of Waterloo.
This article has been published as part of BMC Bioinformatics Volume 10 Supplement 1, 2009: Proceedings of The Seventh Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Conference (APBC) 2009. The full contents of the supplement are available online at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2105/10?issue=S1
Authors’ Affiliations
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