The immuneML ecosystem for machine learning analysis of adaptive immune receptor repertoires

Nat Mach Intell. 2021 Nov;3(11):936-944. doi: 10.1038/s42256-021-00413-z. Epub 2021 Nov 16.


Adaptive immune receptor repertoires (AIRR) are key targets for biomedical research as they record past and ongoing adaptive immune responses. The capacity of machine learning (ML) to identify complex discriminative sequence patterns renders it an ideal approach for AIRR-based diagnostic and therapeutic discovery. To date, widespread adoption of AIRR ML has been inhibited by a lack of reproducibility, transparency, and interoperability. immuneML ( addresses these concerns by implementing each step of the AIRR ML process in an extensible, open-source software ecosystem that is based on fully specified and shareable workflows. To facilitate widespread user adoption, immuneML is available as a command-line tool and through an intuitive Galaxy web interface, and extensive documentation of workflows is provided. We demonstrate the broad applicability of immuneML by (i) reproducing a large-scale study on immune state prediction, (ii) developing, integrating, and applying a novel deep learning method for antigen specificity prediction, and (iii) showcasing streamlined interpretability-focused benchmarking of AIRR ML.