Fiuncho: a program for any-order epistasis detection in CPU clusters

Christian Ponte-Fernández, Jorge González Domínguez, María J. Martín

Epistasis can be defined as the statistical interaction of genes during the expression of a phenotype. It is believed that it plays a fundamental role in gene expression, as individual genetic variants have reported a very small increase in disease risk in previous Genome-Wide Association Studies. The most successful approach to epistasis detection is the exhaustive method, although its exponential time complexity requires a highly parallel implementation in order to be used. This work presents Fiuncho, a program that exploits all levels of parallelism present in \textit{x86\textunderscore 64} CPU clusters in order to mitigate the complexity of this approach. It supports epistasis interactions of any order, and when compared with other exhaustive methods, it is on average 242, 7 and 3 times faster than MDR, BitEpi and MPI3SNP, respectively.

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