GPUmotif: An Ultra-Fast and Energy-Efficient Motif Analysis Program Using Graphics Processing Units

Pooya Zandevakili, Ming Hu, Zhaohui Qin
Computer Science and Engineering Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America
PLoS ONE 7(5): e36865, 2012


   author={Zandevakili, Pooya AND Hu, Ming AND Qin, Zhaohui},

   journal={PLoS ONE},

   publisher={Public Library of Science},

   title={GPUmotif: An Ultra-Fast and Energy-Efficient Motif Analysis Program Using Graphics Processing Units},









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Computational detection of TF binding patterns has become an indispensable tool in functional genomics research. With the rapid advance of new sequencing technologies, large amounts of protein-DNA interaction data have been produced. Analyzing this data can provide substantial insight into the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation. However, the massive amount of sequence data presents daunting challenges. In our previous work, we have developed a novel algorithm called Hybrid Motif Sampler (HMS) that enables more scalable and accurate motif analysis. Despite much improvement, HMS is still time-consuming due to the requirement to calculate matching probabilities position-by-position. Using the NVIDIA CUDA toolkit, we developed a graphics processing unit (GPU)-accelerated motif analysis program named GPUmotif. We proposed a "fragmentation" technique to hide data transfer time between memories. Performance comparison studies showed that commonly-used model-based motif scan and de novo motif finding procedures such as HMS can be dramatically accelerated when running GPUmotif on NVIDIA graphics cards. As a result, energy consumption can also be greatly reduced when running motif analysis using GPUmotif. The GPUmotif program is freely available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/gpumotif/
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