Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Engineering and Applied Science


Computer Science

Major Professor

Summa, Christopher

Second Advisor

Winters-Hilt, Stephen

Third Advisor

Fu, Bin

Fourth Advisor

Chen, Huimin

Fifth Advisor

Zhu, Dongxiao


Sequence analysis and structure analysis are two of the fundamental areas of bioinformatics research. This dissertation discusses, specifically, protein structure related problems including protein structure alignment and query, and genome sequence related problems including haplotype reconstruction and genome rearrangement. It first presents an algorithm for pairwise protein structure alignment that is tested with structures from the Protein Data Bank (PDB). In many cases it outperforms two other well-known algorithms, DaliLite and CE. The preliminary algorithm is a graph-theory based approach, which uses the concept of \stars" to reduce the complexity of clique-finding algorithms. The algorithm is then improved by introducing \double-center stars" in the graph and applying a self-learning strategy. The updated algorithm is tested with a much larger set of protein structures and shown to be an improvement in accuracy, especially in cases of weak similarity. A protein structure query algorithm is designed to search for similar structures in the PDB, using the improved alignment algorithm. It is compared with SSM and shows better performance with lower maximum and average Q-score for missing proteins. An interesting problem dealing with the calculation of the diameter of a 3-D sequence of points arose and its connection to the sublinear time computation is discussed. The diameter calculation of a 3-D sequence is approximated by a series of sublinear time deterministic, zero-error and bounded-error randomized algorithms and we have obtained a series of separations about the power of sublinear time computations. This dissertation also discusses two genome sequence related problems. A probabilistic model is proposed for reconstructing haplotypes from SNP matrices with incomplete and inconsistent errors. The experiments with simulated data show both high accuracy and speed, conforming to the theoretically provable e ciency and accuracy of the algorithm. Finally, a genome rearrangement problem is studied. The concept of non-breaking similarity is introduced. Approximating the exemplar non-breaking similarity to factor n1..f is proven to be NP-hard. Interestingly, for several practical cases, several polynomial time algorithms are presented.


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