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This repository contains the EternaBench datasets and accompanying code, which evaluate RNA structure prediction using diverse thermodynamic prediction tasks and high-throughput datasets (Wayment-Steele et al, 2022).


Add to python path and point to datasets by adding to .bashrc:

export PYTHONPATH=/path/to/EternaBench
export ETERNABENCH_PATH=/path/to/EternaBench

Use cases

I want to tinker with the data in the paper figures, or use pre-calculated correlation or z-score data

Notebooks in analysis regenerate all the figures in the manuscript. Each figure cell indicates a path to a csv that contains the raw correlation and z-score data. Datasets for representative experiments and packages are also included.

I want to benchmark my novel algorithm against the algorithms contained here

This code uses Arnie to wrap the algorithms tested in this work.

If you have an algorithm that you want to demo on these datasets, we recommend checking in a PR to Arnie to wrap your algorithm.

This will make benchmarking easier and will also make your algorithm immediately available for other Arnie-wielding RNA thermodynamics fans to use!

Instructions for linking base-pair probability calculations to Arnie are here. Briefly, the algorithm just needs to provide a symmetric matrix of probabilities p(i:j) as a numpy array.

I want to regenerate thermodynamic calculations and z-score calculations for an example chemical mapping and riboswitch dataset on a single core

  1. Git clone Arnie.

  2. Follow the Arnie instructions here to set up all the packages you want to rerun.

  3. modify package_list.txt to iterate over the packages you wish to run.

  4. Run the bash script: ./

  5. Successful completion will end in a call to calculate bootstrapped Pearson correlation coefficients and z-scores.

Chem Mapping Rnd 1 scores
        package  pearson_mean  pearson_std  pearson_zscore_by_Dataset_mean
1    eternafold      0.738693     0.001563                        0.855730
0  contrafold_2      0.718083     0.001729                        0.242594
2      vienna_2      0.672972     0.002110                       -1.098324

Riboswitch "Ribologic FMN" scores
        package  pearson_mean  pearson_std  pearson_zscore_by_Dataset_mean
1    eternafold      0.642524     0.013263                        1.004608
0  contrafold_2      0.502365     0.017499                       -0.017645
2      vienna_2      0.368747     0.020251                       -0.986963

Example outputs are in DEMO/example_outputs_from_demo.

I want to regenerate thermodynamic calculations for all the datasets on a cluster

The Slurm scripts used to generate the data for this paper are contained in /cluster_scripts. You will need to modify the Slurm headers for your own environment.

cd ${ETERNABENCH_PATH}/cluster_scripts

I want to regenerate the filtered EternaBench datasets from the raw data

  1. Git clone RDatKit and follow instructions there to add it your python path.

  2. Git clone CD-HIT and export its path:

  1. Run the below python scripts.
python ${ETERNABENCH_PATH}/scripts/
python ${ETERNABENCH_PATH}/scripts/

Takes about 12 minutes runtime to regenerate both. Example intermediate CDHIT outputs are provided in cluster_scripts/CDHIT_example_output.


analysis: python notebooks to reproduce paper figures.

cluster_scripts: scripts to run entire EternaBench benchmarking using SLURM cluster system.


  • Input data for "Cloud lab Round 1", example chemical mappingdataset discussed in main text.
  • Input data for "Ribologic FMN" dataset, example riboswitch dataset discussed in main text.
  • EternaBench_* Full and filtered EternaBench datasets without calculations.
  • ChemMappingPreprocessing: Initial datasets used to create chem mapping benchmark.
  • RiboswitchPreprocessing: Initial datasets used to create riboswitch benchmark.
  • RiboswitchCalculations: Example datasets with K_fold calculations (see notebooks in analysis for example calls to plot these).
  • ChemMappingCalculations: Example datasets with p(unpaired) calculations (see notebooks in analysis for example calls to plot these).
  • ExternalData: inputs and calculations for external collected datasets (see notebooks in analysis for example calls to plot these).

datasets_in_fasta_form: all of the datasets above, in fasta format.

DEMO: One non-parallelized script to regenerate observable calculations for one representative dataset from Chem Mapping and Riboswitch, and calculate significance.

docs: Documentation.

eternabench: EternaBench API source.

scoring_data: CSVs containing all data and metrics used for evaluation in the paper. These data are the raw input to the figures plotted in the notebooks in analysis.

scripts: Scripts to calculate observables and bootstrap correlation significance over datasets.

Data Origin

  • Chemical Mapping RDAT files may be downloaded from

  • Riboswitch datasets are detailed in the supporting information of

Andreasson, J. O., ... & Das, R., Greenleaf, W. J. (2019). Crowdsourced RNA design discovers diverse, reversible, efficient, self-contained molecular sensors. bioRxiv, 877183.

  • Ribologic riboswitch dataset is detailed in the supporting information of

Wu, M. J., Andreasson, J. O., Kladwang, W., Greenleaf, W., & Das, R. (2019). Automated design of diverse stand-alone riboswitches. ACS synthetic biology, 8(8), 1838-1846.



If you use this database in your work, please cite it as

Wayment-Steele, H., & Das, R. (2022). EternaBench: Multistate RNA database (Version 2.1.0) [Computer software].


Evaluating RNA structure prediction using diverse thermodynamic prediction tasks and high-throughput datasets.




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