Monte Carlo algorithms for Hardy-Weinberg proportions

Mark Huber, Yuguo Chen, Ian Dinwoodie, Adrian Dobra, Mike Nicholas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Hardy-Weinberg law is among the most important principles in the study of biological systems (Crow, 1988, Genetics119, 473-476). Given its importance, many tests have been devised to determine whether a finite population follows Hardy-Weinberg proportions. Because asymptotic tests can fail, b7Guo and Thompson (1992, Biometrics48, 361-372) developed an exact test; unfortunately, the Monte Carlo method they proposed to evaluate their test has a running time that grows linearly in the size of the population N. Here, we propose a new algorithm whose expected running time is linear in the size of the table produced, and completely independent of N. In practice, this new algorithm can be considerably faster than the original method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Direct sampling
  • Exact p-value
  • Hardy-Weinberg
  • Monte Carlo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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