Google Summer of Code 2012

BioJava at GSoC Introduction

The Open Bioinformatics foundation is participating again in this year’s Google Summer of Code.

We are accepting applicants for projects for BioJava. If you want to propose a project, have a look at the page, for areas which are currently under development. Also take a look at the [Feature Requests](/wiki/BioJava3_Feature_Requests "wikilink") page.

Please read the GSoC page at the Open Bioinformatics Foundation and the main Google Summer of Code page for more details about the program.

Project Proposals

New File Parsers for BioJava

In the ideal word one would like to import the data from one program directly into another without having to do any file parsing, unfortunately in the real life this is not the case. Furthermore, having access to a wide variety of the file parsers is a prerequisite for any real work with the data. At least this is often the case in Bioinformatics.

Yet, writing the file parsers is a tedious job that has to be done with care and consideration to achieve reliability, easy of use and performance. So it is best to be done as a main task rather the afterthought of some other process. So if you want to help us to improve BioJava and spare users from a lot of complicate work choose this project! There is plenty of scope for multi-threaded programming, advanced IO and complicated data structures to choose from, all depends on what you want.

  • UniProt
  • HMMER 3
  • Phylip
  • MrBayes
  • Genbank (using XML format as input and one of the standard Java XML parsers with the aim to provide and example for people that is easy to follow)
  • Tidy up existing parsers in BioJava, namely FASTA and FASTQ parsers

This project is be suitable to a confident Java developer.

If you like to make your application stand out I’d suggest a short coding exercise. The quality of your solution is going to be a significant factor in the selection process.

Part of your work on this project would be to unify various FASTA parsers available in BioJava, so please investigate the existing FASTA and FASTQ parsers in the current version of BioJava and write up a proposal on how you are going to unify them. Make this proposal part of your GSOC application.

Mentors for this project are Peter Troshin and Andreas Prlic

Take BioJava into the Cloud

  • Hadoop-ify and/or Map-Reduce some of the BioJava modules

Port an Algorithm to Java

Both Blast and Hmmer have had recent rewrites Blast+( C++ and Hmmer( C. This is an excellent opportunity for a computer scientist with a strong background in programming languages and pattern matching to gain first hand knowledge of two software packages that drive the foundation of bioinformatics.

By porting these algorithms to Java the development community will be able to easily integrate the functionality into future applications. Currently, working with Blast involves a web service call to an external BLAST server or kicking off the BLAST executable and then parsing the output.

Converting C or C++ source code by hand is not a trivial undertaking and it is recommended that a C/C++ to Java conversion tool be used to do as much of the work as possible. It is also an option to consider a JNI approach for integrating these applications into Java.

There are some issues with licensing if we attempt to port GPLed code to BioJava LGPL. Before starting such a project the project mentors will discuss with the copyright holder if a dual licensing of the code is possible.

Mentors for this project are Andreas Prlic, Peter Troshin, Scooter Willis.

BioJava Sequence Diagram Module

This project is to implement a sequence diagram module in BioJava3 by re-engineering the code of RCSB PDB Sequence Diagram. While the current RCSB PDB Sequence Diagram provides a great visual presentation of protein sequence annotations (example), it is tightly coupled to 3-D structures. The aim of this project is to design and implement a new framework for sequence annotation visualization (by refactoring the current code) with following features:

  • It is for any general sequences (protein, DNA, …)
  • It supports annotations that currently supported by the RCSB Sequence Diagram such as protein domain, protein secondary structure, etc.
  • One can easily extend it for new sequence annotations
  • One can easily add new visualization styles

Optionally, if time allows, add support for visualizing annotations from Distributed Annotation System (DAS).

Mentors for this project are Jianjiong Gao and Andreas Prlic.

Previous Years

Google Summer of Code 2011

Google Summer of Code 2010