Before performing polymerase chain reactions (PCR), a feasible primer set is required. Many primer design methods have been proposed for design a feasible primer set. However, the majority of these methods require a relatively long time to obtain an optimal solution since large quantities of template DNA need to be analyzed. Furthermore, the designed primer sets usually do not provide a specific PCR product. In recent years, evolutionary computation has been applied to PCR primer design and yielded promising results. In this paper, a particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm is proposed to solve primer design problems associated with providing a specific product for PCR experiments. A test set of the gene CYP1A1, associated with a heightened lung cancer risk was analyzed and the comparison of accuracy and running time with the genetic algorithm (GA) and memetic algorithm (MA) was performed. A comparison of results indicated that the proposed PSO method for primer design finds optimal or near-optimal primer sets and effective PCR products in a relatively short time.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) hold much promise as a basis for disease-gene association. However, research is limited by the cost of genotyping the tremendous number of SNPs. Therefore, it is important to identify a small subset of informative SNPs, the so-called tag SNPs. This subset consists of selected SNPs of the genotypes, and accurately represents the rest of the SNPs. Furthermore, an effective evaluation method is needed to evaluate prediction accuracy of a set of tag SNPs. In this paper, a genetic algorithm (GA) is applied to tag SNP problems, and the K-nearest neighbor (K-NN) serves as a prediction method of tag SNP selection. The experimental data used was taken from the HapMap project; it consists of genotype data rather than haplotype data. The proposed method consistently identified tag SNPs with considerably better prediction accuracy than methods from the literature. At the same time, the number of tag SNPs identified was smaller than the number of tag SNPs in the other methods. The run time of the proposed method was much shorter than the run time of the SVM/STSA method when the same accuracy was reached.