Optimization in Bioinformatics
By: Tatsuya Akutsu (from IFORS News December 2011)
Bioinformatics, as the name suggests, is an interdisciplinary area covering biology and informatics. Its two major goals are to: (i) develop computational methods and tools to analyze various kinds of biological data, and (ii) discover new biological knowledge through the use of these tools. To achieve the former goal, various computational techniques have been applied and developed. Combinatorial optimization plays an important role here since many problems in bioinformatics can be formalized as combinatorial optimization problems [1, 2]. In this article, I briefly review how operations research optimization techniques have been applied to bioinformatics and discuss future developments.