Large-scale proteomics projects often generate massive and highly redundant tandem mass(MS/MS) spectra. Spectra clustering algorithms can reduce the redundancy in these datasets, and thus speed up the database searching for peptide identification, a major bottleneck for proteomic data analysis. Furthermore, the consensus spectra derived from highly similar MS/MS spectra in the same cluster may enhance the signal peaks while reduce noisepeaks, and thus will improve the sensitivity of peptide identification. In this paper, we present the software SPLASH, which implemented a novel spectra clustering algorithm based on the locality sensitive hashing (LSH) technique. When tested on a large-scale proteomic dataset consisting of 18.4 million spectra (including 11.5 million spectra of charge 2+), SPLASH runs 7.6-12.1x faster than the state-of-the-art spectra clustering software, PRIDE Cluster, while achieves higher clustering sensitivity and comparable accuracy. Using the consensus spectra reported by SPLASH, commonly used spectra search engines MSGF+ and Mascot can identify 5% and 4% more unique peptides, respectively, comparing to the identification results from the raw MS/MS spectra at the same false discovery rate (1% FDR) of peptides. SPLASH is implemented in C++, and is released as open source software.
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