Mapreduce and Hadoop Algorithms in Bioinformatics Papers

Solely inspired by Atbrox's list of academic papers for Mapreduce & Hadoop Algorithms. Unlike computer science where applications of Mapreduce/Hadoop are very much diversified, most of published implementations in bioinformatics are still focused on the analysis and/or assembly of biological sequences. As usual this list will be updated time to time. If you find that any important paper that is missing from the list then please drop a comment at end of the post.

Hadoop Logo

Review articles

  1. An overview of the Hadoop/MapReduce/HBase framework and its current applications in bioinformatics

Paper describes the concepts behind Hadoop and the associated HBase project, and current bioinformatics software that employ Hadoop.

Sequence analysis/assembly

  1. PeakRanger: A cloud-enabled peak caller for ChIP-seq data

PeakRanger paper describes a Hadoop version with supports for splitting the job by chromosomes to take advantage of the chromosome-level independence (CLI) of ChIP-seq data sets. In the CLI case, "map-then-reduce" becomes "split-by-chromosome-then-call-peaks" where chromosomes are used as keys.

  1. Quake: quality-aware detection and correction of sequencing errors

Hadoop cluster was used for Counting k-mers and also to sum together the partial counts computed on individual machines using an extension of the MapReduce word counting algorithm.

  1. Biomedical Case Studies in Data Intensive Computing

Study illustrates two use case, one the analysis of gene sequence data (35339 Alu sequences) and other a study of medical information (over 100,000 patient records), and compares the performance of MapReduce computing model with MPI.

  1. Cloud-scale RNA-sequencing differential expression analysis with Myrna

Myrna is a cloud-computing pipeline for calculating differential gene expression in large RNA-Seq datasets. Myrna is designed with a parallel Hadoop/MapReduce model in mind. Myrna can be run on the cloud using Amazon Elastic MapReduce, on any Hadoop cluster, or on a single computer (without requiring Hadoop).

  1. Cloud computing for comparative genomics

Describes a typical comparative genomics algorithm, the reciprocal smallest distance algorithm (RSD), to run within Amazon's Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2).

  1. BlastReduce: High Performance Short Read Mapping with MapReduce

Describes a parallel read mapping algorithm optimized for aligning next-generation sequence data to reference genomes.

  1. Biodoop: Bioinformatics on Hadoop

Describes Hadoop implementation to three algorithms: BLAST, GSEA and GRAMMAR.

  1. CloudBurst: highly sensitive read mapping with MapReduce

Describes algorithm CloudBurst, a new highly scalable read-mapping algorithm optimized for next-generation sequence data.

  1. CloudBLAST: Combining MapReduce and Virtualization on Distributed Resources for Bioinformatics Applications

Describes an implementation which integrates Hadoop, Virtual Workspaces, and ViNe as the MapReduce, virtual machine and virtual network technologies, respectively, to deploy the commonly used bioinformatics tool NCBI BLAST on a WAN-ased test bed.

  1. Searching for SNPs with cloud computing

Describes Crossbow, a cloud-computing software tool that executes in parallel using Hadoop and combines the aligner Bowtie and the SNP caller SOAPsnp.

  1. The Genome Analysis Toolkit: a MapReduce framework for analyzing next generation DNA sequencing data

Describes Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK), a structured programming framework designed to ease the development of efficient and robust analysis tools for next-generation DNA sequencers using the functional programming philosophy of MapReduce.

  1. Cloud Technologies for Bioinformatics Applications

Describes Dryad (Microsoft’s implementation of MapReduce) and Azure with application in EST sequence assembly, identification of HLA-associated viral evolution, and a pairwise Alu gene alignment. Dryad combines the MapReduce programming style with dataflow graphs to solve the computation tasks.

  1. A novel approach to multiple sequence alignment using hadoop data grids

Describes multiple sequence alignment method with improved computation time and accuracy using Hadoop framework.

  1. Parallelizing bioinformatics applications with MapReduce

Describes Hadoop based implemntation of BLAST and GSEA (Gene Set Enrichment Analysis) algorithms.

  1. Data Intensive Computing for Bioinformatics

Describes wide range of topics using Microsoft’s MapReduce framework Dryad including iterative MapReduce programming model to analyse the metagenomics data . (Highly recommended)


  1. MrsRF: an efficient MapReduce algorithm for analyzing large collections of evolutionary trees

Describes MapReduce framework for designing phylogenetic applications.


  1. Kepler + Hadoop : A General Architecture Facilitating Data-Intensive Applications in Scientific Workflow Systems

Describes integration of Hadoop with Kepler workflow system which enables users to compose and execute MapReduce applications.

  1. Data Parallelism in Bioinformatics Workflows Using Hydra

Describes MapReduce like middleware Hydra to support data parallelism and parameter sweep parallelism in bioinformatics workflows.

Pattern finding/motif detection

  1. MapReduce-Based Pattern Finding Algorithm Applied in Motif Detection for Prescription Compatibility Network

Describes a MapReduce-based pattern finding algorithm (MRPF) for analyzing the complex network.