The asymmetric median tree - A new model for building consensus trees

Cynthia Phillips, Tandy J. Warnow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Inferring the consensus of a set of different evolutionary trees for a given species set is a well-studied problem, for which several different models have been proposed. In this paper, we propose a new optimization problem for consensus tree construction, which we call the asymmetric median tree, or AMT. Our main theoretical result is the equivalence between the asymmetric median tree problem on k trees and the maximum independent set (MIS) problem on k-colored graphs. Although the problem is NP-hard for three or more trees, we have polynomial time algorithms to construct the AMT for two trees and an approximation algorithm for three or more trees. We define a measure of phylogenetic resolution and show that our algorithms (both exact and approximate) produce consensus trees that on every input are at least as resolved as the standard models (strict consensus and majority tree) in use. Finally, we show that the AMT combines desirable features of many of the standard consensus tree models in use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCombinatorial Pattern Matching - 7th Annual Symposium, CPM 1996, Proceedings
EditorsGene Myers, Dan Hirschberg
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)3540612580, 9783540612582
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
Event7th Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Pattern Matching, CPM 1996 - Laguna Beach, United States
Duration: Jun 10 1996Jun 12 1996

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other7th Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Pattern Matching, CPM 1996
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLaguna Beach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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