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 Rutgers University

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Efficient algorithms for the computational design of optimal tiling arrays

A. Schliep and R. Krause

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics 2008, 557–567.

The representation of a genome by oligonucleotide probes is a prerequisite for the analysis of many of its basic properties, such as transcription factor binding sites, chromosomal breakpoints, gene expression of known genes and detection of novel genes, in particular those coding for small RNAs. An ideal representation would consist of a high density set of oligonucleotides with similar melting temperatures that do not cross-hybridize with other regions of the genome and are equidistantly spaced. The implementation of such design is typically called a tiling array or genome array. We formulate the minimal cost tiling path problem for the selection of oligonucleotides from a set of candidates. Computing the selection of probes requires multi-criterion optimization, which we cast into a shortest path problem. Standard algorithms running in linear time allow us to compute globally optimal tiling paths from millions of candidate oligonucleotides on a standard desktop computer for most problem variants. The solutions to this multi-criterion optimization are spatially adaptive to the problem instance. Our formulation incorporates experimental constraints with respect to specific regions of interest and trade offs between hybridization parameters, probe quality and tiling density easily. A web application is available at

Presented on Nov. 9, 2007 by Alexander Schliep at ZBH Zentrum für Bioinformatik, Universität Hamburg (Invited Talk), on May 1, 2008 by Alexander Schliep at Department of Computer Science, Rutgers University (Invited Talk), on June 15, 2009 by Alexander Schliep at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany (Invited Talk).