School of Mathematics and Statistics - Research Publications

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    EFFICIENT POOLING DESIGNS FOR LIBRARY SCREENING
    BRUNO, WJ ; KNILL, E ; BALDING, DJ ; BRUCE, DC ; DOGGETT, NA ; SAWHILL, WW ; STALLINGS, RL ; WHITTAKER, CC ; TORNEY, DC (ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE, 1995-03-01)
    We describe efficient methods for screening clone libraries, based on pooling schemes that we call "random k-sets designs." In these designs, the pools in which any clone occurs are equally likely to be any possible selection of k from the v pools. The values of k and v can be chosen to optimize desirable properties. Random k-sets designs have substantial advantages over alternative pooling schemes: they are efficient, flexible, and easy to specify, require fewer pools, and have error-correcting and error-detecting capabilities. In addition, screening can often be achieved in only one pass, thus facilitating automation. For design comparison, we assume a binomial distribution for the number of "positive" clones, with parameters n, the number of clones, and c, the coverage. We propose the expected number of resolved positive clones--clones that are definitely positive based upon the pool assays--as a criterion for the efficiency of a pooling design. We determine the value of k that is optimal, with respect to this criterion, as a function of v, n, and c. We also describe superior k-sets designs called k-sets packing designs. As an illustration, we discuss a robotically implemented design for a 2.5-fold-coverage, human chromosome 16 YAC library of n = 1298 clones. We also estimate the probability that each clone is positive, given the pool-assay data and a model for experimental errors.
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    Optimal pooling designs with error detection
    Balding, DJ ; Torney, DC (ACADEMIC PRESS INC JNL-COMP SUBSCRIPTIONS, 1996-04-01)
    Consider a collection of objects, some of which may be `bad', and a test which determines whether or not a given sub-collection contains no bad objects. The non-adaptive pooling (or group testing) problem involves identifying the bad objects using the least number of tests applied in parallel. The `hypergeometric' case occurs when an upper bound on the number of bad objects is known {\em a priori}. Here, practical considerations lead us to impose the additional requirement of {\em a posteriori} confirmation that the bound is satisfied. A generalization of the problem in which occasional errors in the test outcomes can occur is also considered. Optimal solutions to the general problem are shown to be equivalent to maximum-size collections of subsets of a finite set satisfying a union condition which generalizes that considered by Erd\"os \etal \cite{erd}. Lower bounds on the number of tests required are derived when the number of bad objects is believed to be either 1 or 2. Steiner systems are shown to be optimal solutions in some cases.