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HPC-BLAST: Distributed BLAST for Modern HPC Clusters.

14 pagesPublished: March 18, 2019


The near exponential growth in sequence data available to bioinformaticists, and the emergence of new fields of biological research, continue to fuel an incessant need for in- creases in sequence alignment performance. Today, more than ever before, bioinformatics researchers have access to a wide variety of HPC architectures including high core count Intel Xeon processors and the many-core Intel Xeon Phi.
In this work, the implementation of a distributed, NCBI compliant, BLAST+ (C++ toolkit) code, targeted for multi- and many-core clusters, such as those containing the Intel Xeon Phi line of products is presented. The solution is robust: distributed BLAST runs can use the CPU only, the Xeon Phi processor or coprocessor, or both by utilizing the CPU or Xeon Phi processor plus a Xeon Phi coprocessor. The distributed BLAST implementation employs static load balancing, fault tolerance, and contention aware I/O. The distributed BLAST implementation, HPC-BLAST, maintains greater than 90% weak scaling efficiency on up to 160 Xeon Phi (Knights Landing) nodes.
The source code and instructions, are available under the Apache License, Version 2.0 at

Keyphrases: Bioinformatics, High Performance Computing, sequence alignment

In: Oliver Eulenstein, Hisham Al-Mubaid and Qin Ding (editors). Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, vol 60, pages 1--14

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Shane Sawyer and Mitchel Horton and Chad Burdyshaw and Glenn Brook and Bhanu Rekapalli},
  title     = {HPC-BLAST: Distributed BLAST for Modern HPC Clusters.},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology},
  editor    = {Oliver Eulenstein and Hisham Al-Mubaid and Qin Ding},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Computing},
  volume    = {60},
  pages     = {1--14},
  year      = {2019},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2398-7340},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/qm7h}}
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