## mzML Files in Memory

As discussed in the last section, the most straight forward way to load mass spectrometry data is using the MzMLFile class:

from pyopenms import *
from urllib.request import urlretrieve

gh = "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/OpenMS/pyopenms-docs/master"
urlretrieve(gh + "/src/data/tiny.mzML", "test.mzML")
exp = MSExperiment()


which will load the content of the “test.mzML” file into the exp variable of type MSExperiment. We can access the raw data and spectra through:

spectrum_data = exp.getSpectrum(0).get_peaks()
chromatogram_data = exp.getChromatogram(0).get_peaks()


Which will allow us to compute on spectra and chromatogram data. We can manipulate the spectra in the file for example as follows:

spec = []
for s in exp.getSpectra():
if s.getMSLevel() != 1:
spec.append(s)

exp.setSpectra(spec)


Which will only keep MS2 spectra in the MSExperiment. We can then store the modified data structure on disk:

MzMLFile().store("filtered.mzML", exp)


Putting this together, a small filtering program would look like this:

"""
Script to read mzML data and filter out all MS1 spectra
"""
exp = MSExperiment()

spec = []
for s in exp.getSpectra():
if s.getMSLevel() != 1:
spec.append(s)

exp.setSpectra(spec)

MzMLFile().store("filtered.mzML", exp)


## Indexed mzML Files

Since pyOpenMS 2.4, you can open, read and inspect files that use the indexedMzML standard. This allows users to read MS data without loading all data into memory:

od_exp = OnDiscMSExperiment()
od_exp.openFile("test.mzML")
meta_data.getNrChromatograms()
od_exp.getNrChromatograms()

# data is not present in meta_data experiment
sum(meta_data.getChromatogram(0).get_peaks()[1])  # no data!
sum(od_exp.getChromatogram(0).get_peaks()[1])  # data is here!

# meta data is present and identical in both data structures:
meta_data.getChromatogram(0).getNativeID()  # fast
od_exp.getChromatogram(0).getNativeID()  # slow


Note that the OnDiscMSExperiment allows users to access meta data through the getMetaData() function, which allows easy selection and filtering on meta data attributes (such as MS level, precursor m/z, retention time etc.) in order to select spectra and chromatograms for analysis. Only once selection on the meta data has been performed, will actual data be loaded into memory using the getChromatogram() and getSpectrum() functions.

This approach is memory efficient in cases where computation should only occur on part of the data or the whole data may not fit into memory.

## mzML Files as Streams

In some instances it is impossible or inconvenient to load all data from an mzML file directly into memory. OpenMS offers streaming-based access to mass spectrometric data which uses a callback object that receives spectra and chromatograms as they are read from the disk. A simple implementation could look like

class MSCallback:
def setExperimentalSettings(self, s):
pass

def setExpectedSize(self, a, b):
pass

def consumeChromatogram(self, c):

def consumeSpectrum(self, s):


which can the be used as follows:

filename = b"test.mzML"
consumer = MSCallback()
MzMLFile().transform(filename, consumer)


which provides an intuition on how the callback object works: whenever a spectrum or chromatogram is read from disk, the function consumeSpectrum or consumeChromatogram is called and a specific action is performed. We can use this to implement a simple filtering function for mass spectra:

class FilteringConsumer():
"""
Consumer that forwards all calls the internal consumer (after
filtering)
"""

def __init__(self, consumer, filter_string):
self._internal_consumer = consumer
self.filter_string = filter_string

def setExperimentalSettings(self, s):
self._internal_consumer.setExperimentalSettings(s)

def setExpectedSize(self, a, b):
self._internal_consumer.setExpectedSize(a, b)

def consumeChromatogram(self, c):
if c.getNativeID().find(self.filter_string) != -1:
self._internal_consumer.consumeChromatogram(c)

def consumeSpectrum(self, s):
if s.getNativeID().find(self.filter_string) != -1:
self._internal_consumer.consumeSpectrum(s)

###################################
filter_string = "DECOY"
inputfile = "in.mzML"
outputfile = "out.mzML"
###################################

consumer = PlainMSDataWritingConsumer(outputfile)
consumer = FilteringConsumer(consumer, filter_string)

MzMLFile().transform(inputfile, consumer)


where the spectra and chromatograms are filtered by their native ids. It is similarly trivial to implement filtering by other attributes. Note how the data are written to disk using the PlainMSDataWritingConsumer which is one of multiple available consumer classes – this specific class will simply take the spectrum s or chromatogram c and write it to disk (the location of the output file is given by the outfile variable).

Note that this approach is memory efficient in cases where computation should only occur on part of the data or the whole data may not fit into memory.

## Cached mzML Files

In addition, since pyOpenMS 2.4 the user can efficiently cache mzML files to disk which provides very fast access with minimal overhead in memory. Basically the data directly mapped into memory when requested. You can use this feature as follows:

# First load data and cache to disk
exp = MSExperiment()
CachedmzML.store("myCache.mzML", exp)

cfile = CachedmzML()

cfile.getNrChromatograms()
cfile.getNrSpectra()

# data is not present in meta_data experiment
sum(meta_data.getChromatogram(0).get_peaks()[1])  # no data!
sum(cfile.getChromatogram(0).get_peaks()[1])  # data is here!

# meta data is present and identical in both data structures:
meta_data.getChromatogram(0).getNativeID()  # fast
cfile.getChromatogram(0).getNativeID()  # slow


Note that the CachedmzML allows users to access meta data through the getMetaData() function, which allows easy selection and filtering on meta data attributes (such as MS level, precursor m/z, retention time etc.) in order to select spectra and chromatograms for analysis. Only once selection on the meta data has been performed, will actual data be loaded into memory using the getChromatogram() and getSpectrum() functions.

Note that in the example above all data is loaded into memory first and then cached to disk. This is not very efficient and we can use the MSDataCachedConsumer to directly cache to disk (without loading any data into memory):

# First cache to disk
# Note: writing meta data to myCache2.mzML is required
cacher = MSDataCachedConsumer("myCache2.mzML.cached")
exp = MSExperiment()
MzMLFile().transform(b"test.mzML", cacher, exp)