MARIA: Multiple-alignment $r$-index with aggregation

Adrián Goga, Andrej Baláž, Alessia Petescia, Travis Gagie

There now exist compact indexes that can efficiently list all the occurrences of a pattern in a dataset consisting of thousands of genomes, or even all the occurrences of all the pattern's maximal exact matches (MEMs) with respect to the dataset. Unless we are lucky and the pattern is specific to only a few genomes, however, we could be swamped by hundreds of matches -- or even hundreds per MEM -- only to discover that most or all of the matches are to substrings that occupy the same few columns in a multiple alignment. To address this issue, in this paper we present a simple and compact data index MARIA that stores a multiple alignment such that, given the position of one match of a pattern (or a MEM or other substring of a pattern) and its length, we can quickly list all the distinct columns of the multiple alignment where matches start.

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