Prague Stringology Conference 2010

Giuseppe Lancia, Romeo Rizzi and Russell Schwartz

Tiling Binary Matrices in Haplotyping: Complexity, Models and Algorithms

A tiling of a matrix is an exact cover of its elements by a set of row fragments, called tiles. A particular variant of the tiling problem has arisen in the context of computational biology for studying genetic variations between individuals, in which one wishes to find the minimum-cardinality tiling of a matrix whose rows correspond to genomic sequences of a set of individuals. In this case, the tiles define a set of haplotype motifs strings of consecutive variants that frequently co-occur on a single chromosome. By minimizing the number of tiles needed to explain a data set, we seek to identify frequent haplotypes that will be more amenable to statistical analysis than the raw variation data. Although the haplotype motif model was first proposed several years ago, the complexity of the associated optimization problem has never been settled. Here, we show that the minimum tiling problem is NP-hard. We also describe ILP models and Dynamic Programming procedures for its exact solution.

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