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Title: DISTEVAL: a web server for evaluating predicted protein distances
Abstract Background Protein inter-residue contact and distance prediction are two key intermediate steps essential to accurate protein structure prediction. Distance prediction comes in two forms: real-valued distances and ‘binned’ distograms, which are a more finely grained variant of the binary contact prediction problem. The latter has been introduced as a new challenge in the 14th Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction (CASP14) 2020 experiment. Despite the recent proliferation of methods for predicting distances, few methods exist for evaluating these predictions. Currently only numerical metrics, which evaluate the entire prediction at once, are used. These give no insight into the structural details of a prediction. For this reason, new methods and tools are needed. Results We have developed a web server for evaluating predicted inter-residue distances. Our server, DISTEVAL, accepts predicted contacts, distances, and a true structure as optional inputs to generate informative heatmaps, chord diagrams, and 3D models. All of these outputs facilitate visual and qualitative assessment. The server also evaluates predictions using other metrics such as mean absolute error, root mean squared error, and contact precision. Conclusions The visualizations generated by DISTEVAL complement each other and collectively serve as a powerful tool for both quantitative and qualitative assessments of predicted contacts and distances, even in the absence of a true 3D structure.  more » « less
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BMC Bioinformatics
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Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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    Availability and implementation

    The source code of DRCon is available at The datasets are available at

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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