DIMACS Workshop on Combinatorial Group Testing

May 17 - 19, 2006
DIMACS Center, CoRE Building, Rutgers University

Ding-zhu Du, University of Texas, dzdu@utdallas.edu
Frank Hwang, Chiatong University, fhwang@math.nctu.edu.tw
Presented under the auspices of the Special Focus on Computational and Mathematical Epidemiology.

This workshop will investigate modern combinatorial and algorithmic methods of group testing, with emphasis on connections to coding theory and combinatorial design. To identify all positive cases in a large population of items, group testing proceeds by grouping the items into subsets, testing if a subset contains at least one positive item, and then identifying all positive items through iteration of group tests. The theory of group testing arose from the idea (never implemented) of testing millions of World War II military draftees for syphilis and it is very relevant to schemes for large-scale blood testing for viruses such as HIV. Group testing also arises in connection with the mapping of genomes. Here, we have a long list of molecular sequences, form a library of subsequences (clones), and test whether or not a particular sequence (a probe) appears in the library by testing to see which clones it appears in. Because clone libraries can be huge, we do this by pooling the clones into groups. We will investigate both epidemiological and molecular biological applications of group testing.
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Document last modified on July 25, 2006.