In recent years, the importance of genome informatics has become widely recognized not only by genome researchers but also life scientists in general, software developers and bio-engineers such as a drug designer, who utilize the results of genome research.

This book is edited from papers presented at The Ninth Workshop on Genome Informatics (GIW '98), which was held at Yebisu Garden Place in Tokyo, Japan from December 10-11, 1998.

This workshop has been organized annually since December 1990. The first few workshops were held only as domestic workshops and as a part of the activities of Genome Informatics Research Project supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture (MESSC) of Japan. The aim was to establish new research areas bridging biological science and computer science and to develop new computational technologies for genome research.

Since 1993, this meeting has become international and after 1996 when the Genome Informatics Research Project ended, the main sponsorship of the workshop has shifted to the Human Genome Center, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo. Since last year, in order to make this workshop more international, we, the organizers of GIW, have invited foreign researchers as members of the program committee and have solicited papers from abroad by distributing a Call-for-Papers world-wide.

The program committee of GIW '98 received 30 oral and 78 poster presentations and 10 software demonstrations from 9 countries. Each paper submitted to the oral presentation was reviewed by three members of the program committee. Based on the review reports, we accepted 21 papers for oral presentation at the workshop. Moreover, all the papers submitted to poster/software demonstration sessions were also reviewed by the editors (Satoru Miyano and Toshihisa Takagi) of the book. In total, this book consists of 109 papers with two abstracts of invited talks by Dr. Shun-ichi Amari (RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan) and Dr. Eugene V. Koonin (National Center for Biotechnology Information, NIH, USA). We hope that this book will prove to be a useful addition to the collection of anyone interested in genome informatics.

Finally the program committee wishes to express their gratitude to all of those who submitted papers and supported GIW98, especially to the colleagues at Human Genome Center who helped with local arrangement and publication.

Information about GIW'98 will be available from the URL address: and a CD-ROM of the proceedings of the workshop is also available.

Toshihisa Takagi
Program Committee Chair