Parsimony

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The principle of parsimony has long been used as a basis for choosing one hypothesis over another, based on the idea that a simpler explanation is preferable to a complex one. This principle is the basis of maximum parsimony analysis of data, in which the goal is minimizing the number of events (changes) required to arrive at the observed data. This is intuitively appealing when changes are rare, but can lead to systematic errors when change is common. In spite of this concern, parsimony-based analyses are applied to a wide range of situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBrenner's Encyclopedia of Genetics
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Pages229-232
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780080961569
ISBN (Print)9780123749840
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 27 2013

Keywords

  • Bat
  • Cladism
  • Evolution
  • Genome evolution
  • Homology
  • Homoplasy
  • Innovations
  • Long branch attraction
  • Notochord
  • Occam's razor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    Olsen, G. J. (2013). Parsimony. In Brenner's Encyclopedia of Genetics: Second Edition (pp. 229-232). Elsevier Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-374984-0.01122-0