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Journal Article

Consensus Techniques and the Comparison of Taxonomic Trees

Edward N. Adams III
Systematic Zoology
Vol. 21, No. 4 (Dec., 1972), pp. 390-397
DOI: 10.2307/2412432
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2412432
Page Count: 8

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Topics: Trees, Plant roots, Branches, Information classification, Zoology, Evolution, Mathematical problems
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Consensus Techniques and the Comparison of Taxonomic Trees
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Abstract

A new problem in the science of classification is presented, along with its solution. The problem is to combine the information in several taxonomic trees into a single tree. The solution is a computational method for computing a tree which represents only that information shared by all the rival trees. Such a method, called the consensus method, can be used to "compare" several rival tree representations or to compute a more stable tree from slightly perturbed variants of the original data. A method is defined and demonstrated for each of two different types of trees: rooted, fully labelled trees, and rooted trees with unlabelled internal nodes.

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