Spring 2015

Coding for DNA-based Storage Systems

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 12:00 pm12:30 pm PST

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Calvin Lab Auditorium

We consider the problem of storing and retrieving information from synthetic DNA media. The mathematical basis of the problem is the construction and design of sequences that may be discriminated based on their collection of substrings observed through a noisy channel. This problem of reconstructing sequences from traces was first investigated in the noiseless setting under the name of “Markov type” analysis. Here, we explain the connection between the reconstruction problem and the problem of DNA synthesis and sequencing, and introduce the notion of a DNA storage channel. We analyze the number of sequence equivalence classes under the channel mapping and propose new asymmetric coding techniques to combat the effects of synthesis and sequencing noise. In our analysis, we make use of restricted de Bruijn graphs and Ehrhart theory for rational polytopes.