Constructing evolutionary trees in the presence of polymorphic characters

Maria Bonet, Cynthia Phillips, Tandy Warnow, Shibu Yooseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Most phylogenetics literature and construction methods based upon characters presume monomorphism (one state per character per species), yet polymorphism (multiple states per character per species) is well documented in both biology and historical linguistics. In this paper we consider the problem of inferring evolutionary trees for polymorphic characters. We show efficient algorithms for the construction of perfect phylogenies from polymorphic data. These methods have been used to help construct the evolutionary tree proposed by Warnow, Ringe, and Taylor for the Indo-European family of languages and presented by invitation at the National Academy of Sciences in November 1995.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-131
Number of pages29
JournalSIAM Journal on Computing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Mathematics(all)

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