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Picard ViewSam Performance

ayangayang TorontoMember Posts: 2
edited June 2016 in Ask the GATK team


I have been playing around with the latest Picard Tools build (2.4.1) with the intention of eventually using HTSJDK directly to manipulate SAM/BAM/CRAM files. I've found that when I run the ViewSam Picard Tool on a CRAM, it takes a very long time to run. In this example, my "interval.txt" contains a single range 7:169000-170000 that has been converted from a Bed file into an Interval file with a SequenceDictionary I constructed from a FASTA file.

Running the same query in SamTools 1.3.1 View is extremely quick - a matter of seconds. The ViewSam Picard Tool takes 33 minutes.

java -jar /picard-tools-2.4.1/picard.jar ViewSam INPUT=sample.cram INTERVAL_LIST=interval.txt REFERENCE_SEQUENCE=genome.fa


Running this on the BAM version of the file also takes a long time. The sample CRAM file I'm testing with is approximately 88 GB. Both my reference file and my CRAM file are indexed (I have genome.fa.fai and sample.cram.crai in the same directory as genome.fa and sample.cram)

What factors might be contributing to the long processing time? Are there additional parameters I should be specifying? Or is this expected due to how ViewSam is implemented. I haven't gone through the source code yet - I guess I'm hoping for a quick sanity check before committing time to chasing this down.




  • Geraldine_VdAuweraGeraldine_VdAuwera Cambridge, MAMember, Administrator, Broadie Posts: 11,662 admin

    Hmm, that's a surprising observation, at least to me. Maybe try relaxing the validation stringency, in case it's due to the validation checks? That's the most obvious difference I can think of relative to samtools view.

    If that doesn't explain what you're seeing, and since it's more a developer question, I would recommend reposting it as an issue in the Picard repository on GitHub.

    Geraldine Van der Auwera, PhD

  • ayangayang TorontoMember Posts: 2

    Thanks for the suggestion. I set VALIDATION_ to SILENT but it still took the same time. I've reposted the question as a Picard issue in Github

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