Date of Award

9-11-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Alex Zelikovsky - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Yi Pan

Third Advisor

Dr. Anu Bourgeois

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Ion Mandoiu

Abstract

The most intriguing problems in genetics epidemiology are to predict genetic disease susceptibility and to associate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with diseases. In such these studies, it is necessary to resolve the ambiguities in genetic data. The primary obstacle for ambiguity resolution is that the physical methods for separating two haplotypes from an individual genotype (phasing) are too expensive. Although computational haplotype inference is a well-explored problem, high error rates continue to deteriorate association accuracy. Secondly, it is essential to use a small subset of informative SNPs (tag SNPs) accurately representing the rest of the SNPs (tagging). Tagging can achieve budget savings by genotyping only a limited number of SNPs and computationally inferring all other SNPs. Recent successes in high throughput genotyping technologies drastically increase the length of available SNP sequences. This elevates importance of informative SNP selection for compaction of huge genetic data in order to make feasible fine genotype analysis. Finally, even if complete and accurate data is available, it is unclear if common statistical methods can determine the susceptibility of complex diseases. The dissertation explores above computational problems with a variety of methods, including linear algebra, graph theory, linear programming, and greedy methods. The contributions include (1)significant speed-up of popular phasing tools without compromising their quality, (2)stat-of-the-art tagging tools applied to disease association, and (3)graph-based method for disease tagging and predicting disease susceptibility.

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