Optimization Letters

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 421–433 | Cite as

Algorithm engineering for optimal alignment of protein structure distance matrices

  • Inken WohlersEmail author
  • Rumen Andonov
  • Gunnar W. Klau
Original Paper


Protein structural alignment is an important problem in computational biology. In this paper, we present first successes on provably optimal pairwise alignment of protein inter-residue distance matrices, using the popular dali scoring function. We introduce the structural alignment problem formally, which enables us to express a variety of scoring functions used in previous work as special cases in a unified framework. Further, we propose the first mathematical model for computing optimal structural alignments based on dense inter-residue distance matrices. We therefore reformulate the problem as a special graph problem and give a tight integer linear programming model. We then present algorithm engineering techniques to handle the huge integer linear programs of real-life distance matrix alignment problems. Applying these techniques, we can compute provably optimal dali alignments for the very first time.


Protein structure distance matrix alignment Algorithm engineering Integer linear programming Branch-and-cut Preprocessing dali 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Life Sciences GroupCWIAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.INRIA Rennes, Bretagne Atlantique and University of Rennes 1RennesFrance

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