Motivation

Many software libraries for using Hidden Markov Models in bioinformatics focus on inference tasks, such as likelihood calculation, parameter-fitting and alignment. However, construction of the state machines can be a laborious task, automation of which would be time-saving and less error-prone.

Results

We present Machine Boss, a software tool implementing not just inference and parameter-fitting algorithms, but also a set of operations for manipulating and combining automata. The aim is to make prototyping of bioinformatics HMMs as quick and easy as the construction of regular expressions, with one-line ‘recipes’ for many common applications. We report data from several illustrative examples involving protein-to-DNA alignment, DNA data storage and nanopore sequence analysis.

Availability and implementation

Machine Boss is released under the BSD-3 open source license and is available from http://machineboss.org/.

Supplementary information

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.