Rxivist logo

K-mer Motif Multinomial Mixtures

By Brian L Trippe, Sandhya Prabhakaran, Harmen J. Bussemaker

Posted 24 Dec 2016
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/096735

Motivation: The advent of inexpensive high-throughput sequencing (HTS) places new demands on motif discovery algorithms. To confront the challenges and embrace the opportunities presented by the growing wealth of information tied up in HTS datasets, we developed K-mer motif multinomial mixtures (KMMMs), a flexible class of Bayesian models for identifying multiple motifs in sequence sets using K-mer tables. Advantages of this framework are inference with time and space complexities that only scale with K, and the ability to be incorporated into larger Bayesian models. Results: We derived a class of probabilistic models of K-mer tables generated from sequence containing multiple motifs. KMMMs model the K-mer table as a multinomial mixture, with motif and background components, which are distributions over K-mers overlapping with each of the latent motifs and over K-mers that do not overlap with any motif, respectively. The framework casts motif discovery as a posterior inference problem, and we present several approximate inference methods that provide accurate reconstructions of motifs in synthetic data. Finally we apply the method to discover motifs in DNAse hypersensitive sites and ChIP-seq peaks obtained from the ENCODE project.

Download data

  • Downloaded 811 times
  • Download rankings, all-time:
    • Site-wide: 17,714 out of 100,510
    • In bioinformatics: 2,682 out of 9,232
  • Year to date:
    • Site-wide: 55,866 out of 100,510
  • Since beginning of last month:
    • Site-wide: 26,197 out of 100,510

Altmetric data

Downloads over time

Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide


Sign up for the Rxivist weekly newsletter! (Click here for more details.)


  • 20 Oct 2020: Support for sorting preprints using Twitter activity has been removed, at least temporarily, until a new source of social media activity data becomes available.
  • 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
  • 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
  • 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
  • 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
  • 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
  • 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
  • 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
  • 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!