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The Influence of Memory-Aware Computation on Distributed BLAST

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 2 ]

Author(s):

Majid Hajibaba, Mohsen Sharifi and Saeid Gorgin*   Pages 157 - 163 ( 7 )

Abstract:


Background: One of the pivotal challenges in nowadays genomic research domain is the fast processing of voluminous data such as the ones engendered by high-throughput Next-Generation Sequencing technologies. On the other hand, BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool), a longestablished and renowned tool in Bioinformatics, has shown to be incredibly slow in this regard.

Objective: To improve the performance of BLAST in the processing of voluminous data, we have applied a novel memory-aware technique to BLAST for faster parallel processing of voluminous data.

Method: We have used a master-worker model for the processing of voluminous data alongside a memory-aware technique in which the master partitions the whole data in equal chunks, one chunk for each worker, and consequently each worker further splits and formats its allocated data chunk according to the size of its memory. Each worker searches every split data one-by-one through a list of queries.

Results: We have chosen a list of queries with different lengths to run insensitive searches in a huge database called UniProtKB/TrEMBL. Our experiments show 20 percent improvement in performance when workers used our proposed memory-aware technique compared to when they were not memory aware. Comparatively, experiments show even higher performance improvement, approximately 50 percent, when we applied our memory-aware technique to mpiBLAST.

Conclusion: We have shown that memory-awareness in formatting bulky database, when running BLAST, can improve performance significantly, while preventing unexpected crashes in low-memory environments. Even though distributed computing attempts to mitigate search time by partitioning and distributing database portions, our memory-aware technique alleviates negative effects of page-faults on performance.

Keywords:

BLAST, next-generation sequencing, distributed, parallel, mater-worker, memory-aware.

Affiliation:

Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology, Tehran, School of Computer Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology, Tehran

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