The following demonstrates the utility of Medaka’s neural network in forming an improved consensus from a pileup of reads.

Results were obtained using the default models provided with medaka. These models were trained using data obtained from E.coli, S.cerevisiae and H.sapiens samples.

Error statistics were calculated using the pomoxis program assess_assembly after aligning 100kb chunks of the consensus to the reference. Reported metrics are median values over all chunks.

Comparison of medaka and nanopolish

In this comparison the medaka E.coli Walkthrough dataset was used. These data were not used to train the model. Basecalling was performed using Guppy v2.2.1; both the older transducer and the newer flip-flop algorithm were used for comparison. Basecalled reads were trimmed using porechop to remove adapters, and assembly was performed using canu v1.8. The assembly was corrected using racon v1.3.1 before being passed to medaka or nanopolish. nanopolish v0.10.1 was run using --fix-homopolymers option.

The workflow used here includes four iterations of racon. This should not be viewed as optimal for all datasets, see Origin of the draft sequence for further details.

  flipflop transducer
racon (x4) medaka nanopolish racon (x4) medaka nanopolish
Q(accuracy) 26.8 34.2 32.0 25.2 31.9 31.0
Q(substitution) 45.2 50.0 47.0 41.0 47.0 41.4
Q(deletion) 27.1 34.0 32.6 25.6 35.0 30.7
Q(insertion) 40.1 50.0 43.0 39.2 35.2 40.5
CPU time / hrs 00:50 00:07 49:10 00:50 00:07 50:24

For this dataset the older transducer basecaller with medaka delivers similar results to nanopolish in a fraction of the time. The flip-flop workflow is seen to be superior to nanopolish. The runtime of medaka can be reduced further by utilizing a GPU, the runtime with a NVIDIA GTX1080Ti is found to be less than one minute!

A particular advantage of medaka over other methods is its improved accuracy in recovering homopolymer lengths.


Above the main plot we show homopolymer frequencies from H.sapiens Chrom. 1, adapted from Statistical analysis of simple repeats in the human genome.

Evaluation across samples and depths

The comparison below illustrates results at various coverage depths for a collection of further organisms. Assemblies were performed as above with canu and racon, using the Guppy v3.0.3 high accuracy basecaller and medaka v0.6.5.