Faster exact distributions of pattern statistics through sequential elimination of states



When using an auxiliary Markov chain (AMC) to compute sampling distributions, the computational complexity is directly related to the number of Markov chain states. For certain complex pattern statistics, minimal deterministic finite automata (DFA) have been used to facilitate efficient computation by reducing the number of AMC states. For example, when statistics of overlapping pattern occurrences are counted differently than non-overlapping occurrences, a DFA consisting of prefixes of patterns extended to overlapping occurrences has been generated and then minimized to form an AMC. However, there are situations where forming such a DFA is computationally expensive, e.g., with computing the distribution of spaced seed coverage. In dealing with this problem, we develop a method to obtain a small set of states during the state generation process without forming a DFA, and show that a huge reduction in the size of the AMC can be attained.


Active proper suffix Auxiliary Markov chain Computational efficiency Extended seed patterns Minimal deterministic finite automaton Overlapping pattern occurrences  Seeded alignments Spaced seed coverage 



The authors greatly appreciate the comments of the associate editor and the referees, which proved to be extremely useful in improving the manuscript. D. E. K. Martin was supported in this research by the National Science Foundation under Grant DMS-1107084. Laurent Noé was supported by a CNRS Mastodons grant, and benefited from a half-time course buyout from the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (Inria).


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Tokyo 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of StatisticsNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.CRIStAL (UMR 9189 Lille University/CNRS), INRIA Lille Nord-EuropeVilleneuve d’AscqFrance

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