Tree reconstruction from partial orders

Sampath Kannan, Tandy Warnow

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


The problem of constructing trees given a matrix of interleaf distances is motivated by applications in computational evolutionary biology and linguistics. The general problem is to find an edge-weighted tree which most closely approximates (under some norm) the distance matrix. Although the construction problem is easy when the tree exactly fits the distance matrix, optimization problems under all popular criteria are either known or conjectured to be NP-complete. In this paper we consider the related problem where we are given a partial order on the pairwise distances, and wish to construct (if possible) an edge-weighted tree realizing the partial order. In particular we are interested in partial orders which arise from experiments on triples of species. We will show that the consistency problem is NP-hard in general, but that for certain special cases the construction problem can be solved in polynomial time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAlgorithms and Data Structures - 3rd Workshop, WADS 1993, Proceedings
EditorsFrank Dehne, Jorg-Rudiger Sack, Nicola Santoro, Sue Whitesides
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783540571551
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes
Event3rd Workshop on Algorithms and Data Structures, WADS 1993 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Aug 11 1993Aug 13 1993

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume709 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other3rd Workshop on Algorithms and Data Structures, WADS 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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