Table Of Contents

Previous topic

Adding task wrappers

Next topic

Predefined workflows

This Page

Writing a pipeline

One of the main uses of ratatosk is to write an analysis pipeline. The steps involved are best explained by following an example.

Example: a variant calling pipeline

Assume we want to define a pipeline that performs the following tasks:

  1. align reads to a reference with bwa
  2. merge reads from several runs
  3. generate summary statistics

Furthermore, assume we have the following input files (you’ll actually find these files in the test directory):


Setting up dependencies between tasks requires two things:

  1. setting the correct parent_task
  2. keeping track of the output file name (i.e. the target)

Furthermore, I’ll assume we use a configuration file called config.yaml that we put in the test directory, running the command from the ratatosk install directory.

1. Setting up alignment dependency


Currently you need to manually bwa index the reference.

Here we utilize the bwa.Aln class. The default parent_task is ratatosk.lib.align.bwa.InputFastqFile, which is defined to point to a task without requirements (i.e. it was generated by some external process). Therefore, for the parent task, we actually don’t need to add anything to our config file, but just for the sake of clarity, we set the following in our config file. We do, however, need to modify the bwaref that points to the reference (also located in the test directory).

  bwaref: test/data/chr11.fa
      - ratatosk.lib.align.bwa.InputFastqFile

Running the command Aln --config-file test/config.yaml --target test/data/sample1_run1_1.sai will run bwa aln -t 1 test/data/chr11.fa test/data/sample1_run1_1.fastq.gz \> test/data/sample1_run1_1.sai-luigi-tmp-7165456595, where the temporary output file is renamed on success to the target file name, which should be sample1_run1_1.sai .See figure 1 for the corresponding graph.

Aln pipeline

Figure 1. Alignment.

2. Setting up sampe dependency

Next, we should run bwa sampe on the .sai files, generating an output target sample1_run1.sam. Here, we would need to strip out the read suffixes (_1 and _2). The latter are defined in the ratatosk.lib.align.bwa.Aln task by the options read1_suffix and read2_suffix.

  bwaref: test/data/chr11.fa
      - ratatosk.lib.align.bwa.InputFastqFile
    read1_suffix: _1
    read2_suffix: _2
      - _1
      - _2
Aln pipeline

Figure 2. Sampe.

Limitations of the current implementation

It wouldn’t be fair to not comment on some of the limitations and problems with the current implementation.

  1. There is no validation of task dependencies, and there probably never will due to lack of production time. This means you can connect any tasks, regardless of whether the output from the parent task can actually be used by a task. Sorting these dependencies out is left to the end user.
  2. It can be nefariously difficult to derive the required labels that will be used to generate source names. See issues.