Consistency of a Topological Search method in Phylogenetic Inference

5 February 2008
Magnus Bordewich
A number of phylogenetic algorithms proceed by searching the space of all possible phylogenetic (leaf labeled) trees on a given set of taxa, using topological rearrangements and some optimality criterion. Recently, such an approach, called BSPR, has been applied to the balanced minimum evolution principle. Several computer studies have demonstrated the accuracy of BSPR in reconstructing the correct tree. It has been conjectured that BSPR is consistent, that is, when applied to an input distance that is a tree-metric, it will always converge to the (unique) tree corresponding to that metric. Here we prove that this is the case. Moreover, we show that even if the input distance matrix contains small errors relative to the tree-metric, then the BSPR algorithm will still return the corresponding tree.
  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar