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Evol Bioinform Online. 2011 Mar 10;7:1-6. doi: 10.4137/EBO.S6618.

SOLiDzipper: A High Speed Encoding Method for the Next-Generation Sequencing Data.

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SDLAB, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, 406-799 Yeonsu-dong, Incheon, Korea.



Next-generation sequencing (NGS) methods pose computational challenges of handling large volumes of data. Although cloud computing offers a potential solution to these challenges, transferring a large data set across the internet is the biggest obstacle, which may be overcome by efficient encoding methods. When encoding is used to facilitate data transfer to the cloud, the time factor is equally as important as the encoding efficiency. Moreover, to take advantage of parallel processing in cloud computing, a parallel technique to decode and split compressed data in the cloud is essential. Hence in this review, we present SOLiDzipper, a new encoding method for NGS data.


The basic strategy of SOLiDzipper is to divide and encode. NGS data files contain both the sequence and non-sequence information whose encoding efficiencies are different. In SOLiDzipper, encoded data are stored in binary data block that does not contain the characteristic information of a specific sequence platform, which means that data can be decoded according to a desired platform even in cases of Illumina, Solexa or Roche 454 data.


The main calculation time using Crossbow was 173 minutes when 40 EC2 nodes were involved. In that case, an analysis preparation time of 464 minutes is required to encode data in the latest DNA compression method like G-SQZ and transmit it on a 183 Mbit/s bandwidth. However, it takes 194 minutes to encode and transmit data with SOLiDzipper under the same bandwidth conditions. These results indicate that the entire processing time can be reduced according to the encoding methods used, under the same network bandwidth conditions. Considering the limited network bandwidth, high-speed, high-efficiency encoding methods such as SOLiDzipper can make a significant contribution to higher productivity in labs seeking to take advantage of the cloud as an alternative to local computing.

AVAILABILITY: Academic/non-profit: Binary available for direct download at no cost. For-profit: Submit request for for-profit license from the web-site.


DNA compression; NGS; bioinformatics; cloud computing

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