Building scalable indexes that can be efficiently queried.

Christina Boucher
03.29.2023 11:00 to 12:00

Recently, Gagie et al. proposed a version of the FM-index, called the r-index, that can store thousands of human genomes on a commodity computer. We later showed how to build the r-index efficiently via a technique called prefix-free parsing (PFP) and demonstrated its effectiveness for exact pattern matching.
Exact pattern matching can be leveraged to support approximate pattern matching but the r-index itself cannot support efficiently popular and important queries such as finding maximal exact matches (MEMs). To address this shortcoming, Bannai et al. introduced the concept of thresholds, and showed that storing them together with the r-index enables efficient MEM finding --- but they did not say how to find those thresholds. We present another novel algorithm that applies PFP to build the r-index and find the thresholds simultaneously and in linear time and space with respect to the size of the prefix-free parse. Our implementation can rapidly find MEMs between reads and large sequence collections of highly repetitive sequences. Compared to existing methods, ours used 2 to 11 times less memory and was 2 to 32 times faster for index construction. Moreover, our method was less than one thousandth the size of competing indexes for large collections of human chromosomes.