Species, clusters and the ‘Tree of life’: A graph-theoretic perspective

Dress, A, Moulton, V, Steel, M and Wu, T (2010) Species, clusters and the ‘Tree of life’: A graph-theoretic perspective. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 265 (4). pp. 535-542.

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Abstract

A hierarchical structure describing the inter-relationships of species has long been a fundamental concept in systematic biology, from Linnean classification through to the more recent quest for a ‘Tree of Life’. In this paper we use an approach based on discrete mathematics to address a basic question: could one delineate this hierarchical structure in nature purely by reference to the ‘genealogy’ of present-day individuals, which describes how they are related with one another by ancestry through a continuous line of descent? We describe several mathematically precise ways by which one can naturally define collections of subsets of present day individuals so that these subsets are nested (and so form a tree) based purely on the directed graph that describes the ancestry of these individuals. We also explore the relationship between these and related clustering constructions.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Computing Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Deborah Clemitshaw
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2011 14:45
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2018 10:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/35050
DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2010.05.031

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