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SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Data Compression Benchmark

by   Innar Liiv, et al.

This paper introduces a lossless data compression competition that benchmarks solutions (computer programs) by the compressed size of the 44,981 concatenated SARS-CoV-2 sequences, with a total uncompressed size of 1,339,868,341 bytes. The data, downloaded on 13 December 2020, from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 data hub of is presented in FASTA and 2Bit format. The aim of this competition is to encourage multidisciplinary research to find the shortest lossless description for the sequences and to demonstrate that data compression can serve as an objective and repeatable measure to align scientific breakthroughs across disciplines. The shortest description of the data is the best model; therefore, further reducing the size of this description requires a fundamental understanding of the underlying context and data. This paper presents preliminary results with multiple well-known compression algorithms for baseline measurements, and insights regarding promising research avenues. The competition's progress will be reported at <>, and the benchmark is open for all to participate and contribute.


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