Input data

Data formats

GADMA supports several types of input data, which are familiar to anyone who has used dadi or moments in the past:

Input file can be specified to GADMA in two ways:

  1. Through command-line option -i/--input:

    $ gadma -i fs_file.fs -o out_dir


    $ gadma --input snp_file.txt -o out_dir


If VCF file is set as input data then popmap file should be given as well. Files should be separated by comma, however, do not use space between two files if files are set via command line:

$ gadma --input vcf_file.vcf,popmap_file -o out_dir
  1. Use a parameter Input data in the parameter file:

    # param_file
    # Input file path
    Input data : fs_file.fs

Extra information about data

Extra information about input AFS can also be put in the parameter file. For example, AFS can be projected to a smaller size with Projections option, populations can be named or their order can be changed with the Population labels option. Option Outgroup tells whether data has outgroup or not: if Outgroup is False then the spectrum will be folded. If the parameter file does not contain some options, they are automatically pulled out from the input file. Also length of sequence could be set by the Sequence length option, which could be used along with Mutation rate instead of Theta0.

# param_file

# Input file path
Input data : fs_file.fs

# (New) size of the AFS
Projections : 20,20

# Labels of populations
Population labels : CEU, YRI

# Has data outgroup
Outgroup: True

# Length of sequence used to build AFS
Sequence length: 4.04e6

GADMA can be launched with a parameter file in the following way:

$ gadma -p params_file -o out_dir

Sequence length

Sequence length corresponds to the sequence length that was used to build data. If some data was filtered out then this option should be changed according to the percent of the sequence that was left. More information is available here.

It is possiblt to cpecify Sequence length as list with lengths for each chromosome. That can be required for momentsLD engine. To specify length per each chromosome:

# Length of each chromosome
Sequence length: {"1": 248956422, "2": 242193529}

Sometimes, when data is read from VCF file, one can see the following warning:

UserWarning: More than 10% of SNPs (59.62%) were not used during SFS building due
to missed genotypes in the VCF file. Please check whether the `Sequence length`
option was changed accordingly. You can account for SNPs with missed genotypes by
using alternative projections (refer to the easySFS software for guidance).

In that case it means that 59.62% of data was filtered out and Sequence length should be corrected by *(1 - 0.5962).

Unlinked SNPs, AIC and CLAIC

By default, SNP’s that were used to build AFS are considered to be linked. In this case it is possible to compare demographic models with different number of parameters by Composite Likelihood Akaike Information Criterion (CLAIC) [Coffman2016]. This procedure can be necessary as a model with a large number of parameters will be better able to find parameter values corresponding to the observed data than a model with a smaller number of parameters, but at the same time it will correspond less to reality, for example, due to data errors. It is called overfitting and we do not want it to happen.

Actually, CLAIC is modification of usual Akaike Information Criterion (AIC), but AIC can be used only for AFS built from unlinked SNP’s. The smaller the AIC or CLAIC score is, the better the model fits the observed data.

It is possible to inform GADMA about linkage of SNP’s and unlock the usage of AIC by setting Linked SNP's option to False:

# param_file

# Inform if SNP's are not linked
Linked SNP's : False

If SNP’s are linked and CLAIC should be evaluated (by default it is not), then the bootstrapped data should be set via Directory with bootstrap option. In order to receive reliable correct bootstrapped data, the bootstrap should be performed on the original SNP data over the unlinked regions of the genome. For example, in case of exome data one could make it over genes. Then when bootstrap is done, it is required to set the directory with it in the parameters file for CLAIC evaluation:

# param_file

# Inform if SNP's are not linked
Linked SNP's : True

# Tell where bootstrapped data is located
Directory with bootstrap: /home/dadi/examples/YRI_CEU/bootstraps/


This kind of bootstrap is called block-bootstrap and it is very important if one want to do some model selections for data with linked SNPs. Please, be careful if it is your case.