Biowulf High Performance Computing at the NIH
iqtree on Biowulf

Efficient software for phylogenomic inference

The IQ-TREE software was created as the successor of IQPNNI and TREE-PUZZLE (thus the name IQ-TREE). IQ-TREE was motivated by the rapid accumulation of phylogenomic data, leading to a need for efficient phylogenomic software that can handle a large amount of data and provide more complex models of sequence evolution. To this end, IQ-TREE can utilize multicore computers and distributed parallel computing to speed up the analysis. IQ-TREE automatically performs checkpointing to resume an interrupted analysis.


Important Notes

Interactive job
Interactive jobs should be used for debugging, graphics, or applications that cannot be run as batch jobs.

Allocate an interactive session and run the program. Sample session:

[user@biowulf]$ sinteractive --mem=6g -c 8
salloc.exe: Pending job allocation 46116226
salloc.exe: job 46116226 queued and waiting for resources
salloc.exe: job 46116226 has been allocated resources
salloc.exe: Granted job allocation 46116226
salloc.exe: Waiting for resource configuration
salloc.exe: Nodes cn3144 are ready for job

[user@cn3144 ~]$ module load iqtree

[user@cn3144 ~]$ cp $IQTREE_TEST_DATA/* .

[user@cn3144 ~]$ iqtree2 -s example.phy -nt $SLURM_CPUS_PER_TASK
IQ-TREE multicore version 2.1.2 COVID-edition for Linux 64-bit built Oct 22 2020
Developed by Bui Quang Minh, James Barbetti, Nguyen Lam Tung,
Olga Chernomor, Heiko Schmidt, Dominik Schrempf, Michael Woodhams.

Host:    cn0852 (AVX512, FMA3, 377 GB RAM)
Command: iqtree2 -s example.phy -nt 8
Seed:    830607 (Using SPRNG - Scalable Parallel Random Number Generator)
Time:    Mon Oct 26 10:33:27 2020
Kernel:  AVX+FMA - 8 threads (8 CPU cores detected)

Reading alignment file example.phy ... Phylip format detected
Alignment most likely contains DNA/RNA sequences
Alignment has 17 sequences with 1998 columns, 1152 distinct patterns
1009 parsimony-informative, 303 singleton sites, 686 constant sites
Total number of iterations: 102
CPU time used for tree search: 34.761 sec (0h:0m:34s)
Wall-clock time used for tree search: 4.757 sec (0h:0m:4s)
Total CPU time used: 44.325 sec (0h:0m:44s)
Total wall-clock time used: 6.151 sec (0h:0m:6s)

Analysis results written to:
  IQ-TREE report:                example.phy.iqtree
  Maximum-likelihood tree:       example.phy.treefile
  Likelihood distances:          example.phy.mldist
  Screen log file:               example.phy.log

[user@cn3144 ~]$ exit
salloc.exe: Relinquishing job allocation 46116226
[user@biowulf ~]$

Batch job
Most jobs should be run as batch jobs.

Create a batch input file (e.g. For example:

module load iqtree
iqtree2 -s example.phy -nt $SLURM_CPUS_PER_TASK

Submit this job using the Slurm sbatch command.

sbatch --cpus-per-task=8 --mem=6g
Swarm of Jobs
A swarm of jobs is an easy way to submit a set of independent commands requiring identical resources.

Create a swarmfile (e.g. iqtree.swarm). For example:

iqtree2 -s example1.phy -nt $SLURM_CPUS_PER_TASK
iqtree2 -s example2.phy -nt $SLURM_CPUS_PER_TASK
iqtree2 -s example3.phy -nt $SLURM_CPUS_PER_TASK

Submit this job using the swarm command.

swarm -f iqtree.swarm -g 6 -t 8 --module iqtree
-g # Number of Gigabytes of memory required for each process (1 line in the swarm command file)
-t # Number of threads/CPUs required for each process (1 line in the swarm command file).
--module iqtree Loads the iqtree module for each subjob in the swarm