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Matchings and Phylogenetic Trees

Persi W. Diaconis and Susan P. Holmes
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 95, No. 25 (Dec. 8, 1998), pp. 14600-14602
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/46589
Page Count: 3
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Matchings and Phylogenetic Trees
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Abstract

This paper presents a natural coordinate system for phylogenetic trees using a correspondence with the set of perfect matchings in the complete graph. This correspondence produces a distance between phylogenetic trees, and a way of enumerating all trees in a minimal step order. It is useful in randomized algorithms because it enables moves on the space of trees that make random optimization strategies ``mix'' quickly. It also promises a generalization to intermediary trees when data are not decisive as to their choice of tree, and a new way of constructing Bayesian priors on tree space.

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