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Superposition and Alignment of Labeled Point Clouds
November/December 2011 (vol. 8 no. 6)
pp. 1653-1666
Thomas Fober, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg
Serghei Glinca, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg
Gerhard Klebe, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg
Eyke Hüllermeier, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg
Geometric objects are often represented approximately in terms of a finite set of points in three-dimensional euclidean space. In this paper, we extend this representation to what we call labeled point clouds. A labeled point cloud is a finite set of points, where each point is not only associated with a position in three-dimensional space, but also with a discrete class label that represents a specific property. This type of model is especially suitable for modeling biomolecules such as proteins and protein binding sites, where a label may represent an atom type or a physico-chemical property. Proceeding from this representation, we address the question of how to compare two labeled points clouds in terms of their similarity. Using fuzzy modeling techniques, we develop a suitable similarity measure as well as an efficient evolutionary algorithm to compute it. Moreover, we consider the problem of establishing an alignment of the structures in the sense of a one-to-one correspondence between their basic constituents. From a biological point of view, alignments of this kind are of great interest, since mutually corresponding molecular constituents offer important information about evolution and heredity, and can also serve as a means to explain a degree of similarity. In this paper, we therefore develop a method for computing pairwise or multiple alignments of labeled point clouds. To this end, we proceed from an optimal superposition of the corresponding point clouds and construct an alignment which is as much as possible in agreement with the neighborhood structure established by this superposition. We apply our methods to the structural analysis of protein binding sites.

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Index Terms:
Structural bioinformatics, protein binding sites, protein structure comparison, similarity, computational geometry, point clouds, graphs, alignment, evolutionary algorithms, fuzzy logic.
Citation:
Thomas Fober, Serghei Glinca, Gerhard Klebe, Eyke Hüllermeier, "Superposition and Alignment of Labeled Point Clouds," IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 1653-1666, Nov.-Dec. 2011, doi:10.1109/TCBB.2011.42
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