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Markov clustering (MCL) is becoming a key algorithm within bioinformatics for determining clusters in networks. However, with increasing vast amount of data on biological networks, performance and scalability issues are becoming a critical limiting factor in applications. Meanwhile, GPU computing, which uses CUDA tool for implementing a massively parallel computing environment in the GPU card, is becoming a very powerful, efficient, and low-cost option to achieve substantial performance gains over CPU approaches. The use of on-chip memory on the GPU is efficiently lowering the latency time, thus, circumventing a major issue in other parallel computing environments, such as MPI. We introduce a very fast Markov clustering algorithm using CUDA (CUDA-MCL) to perform parallel sparse matrix-matrix computations and parallel sparse Markov matrix normalizations, which are at the heart of MCL. We utilized ELLPACK-R sparse format to allow the effective and fine-grain massively parallel processing to cope with the sparse nature of interaction networks data sets in bioinformatics applications. As the results show, CUDA-MCL is significantly faster than the original MCL running on CPU. Thus, large-scale parallel computation on off-the-shelf desktop-machines, that were previously only possible on supercomputing architectures, can significantly change the way bioinformaticians and biologists deal with their data.
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, IEEE/ACM Transactions on (Volume:9 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: May-June 2012