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Title: Manycore algorithms for genetic linkage analysis
Author: Medlar, A. J.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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Exact algorithms to perform linkage analysis scale exponentially with the size of the input. Beyond a critical point, the amount of work that needs to be done exceeds both available time and memory. In these circumstances, we are forced to either abbreviate the input in some manner or else use an approximation. Approximate methods, like Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), though they make the problem tractable, can take an immense amount of time to converge. The problem of high convergence time is compounded by software which is single-threaded and, as computer processors are manufactured with increasing numbers of physical processing cores, are not designed to take advantage of the available processing power. In this thesis, we will describe our program SwiftLink that embodies our work adapting existing Gibbs samplers to modern computer processor architectures. The processor architectures we target are: multicore processors, that currently feature between 4–8 processor cores, and computer graphics cards (GPUs) that already feature hundreds of processor cores. We implemented parallel versions of the meiosis sampler, that mixes well with tightly linked markers but suffers from irreducibility issues, and the locus sampler which is guaranteed to be irreducible but mixes slowly with tightly linked markers. We evaluate SwiftLink’s performance on real-world datasets of large consanguineous families. We demonstrate that using four processor cores for a single analysis is 3–3.2x faster than the single-threaded implementation of SwiftLink. With respect to the existing MCMC-based programs: it achieves a 6.6–8.7x speedup compared to Morgan and a 66.4– 72.3x speedup compared to Simwalk. Utilising both a multicore processor and a GPU performs 7–7.9x faster than the single-threaded implementation, a 17.6–19x speedup compared to Morgan and a 145.5–192.3x speedup compared to Simwalk.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available