One of the important components of many bioinformatic algorithms are semantic similarity searches in ontologies. There are, unfortunately, no algorithms for computing the exact distribution of semantic similarity scores.

This interesting information was found on 7th Space Interactive in their article, “Exact score distribution computation for ontological similarity searches.” A new algorithm that proposes a collapsed subgraph of the ontology graph and thereby allowing fastscore distribution computation. The new algorithm is also quite a bit faster than the naive approach. The approach is applicable to any ontology that the annotation-propagation rule holds and can improve any bioinformatic method that makes only use of the raw similarity scores. Sounds complicated, but it is nice to see semantic search growing in use.

Melody K. Smith

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