Characterizing Compatibility and Agreement of Unrooted Trees via Cuts in Graphs

Characterizing Compatibility and Agreement of Unrooted Trees via Cuts in Graphs
Sudheer Vakati, David Fernández-Baca
(Submitted on 30 Jul 2013)

Deciding whether there is a single tree -a supertree- that summarizes the evolutionary information in a collection of unrooted trees is a fundamental problem in phylogenetics. We consider two versions of this question: agreement and compatibility. In the first, the supertree is required to reflect precisely the relationships among the species exhibited by the input trees. In the second, the supertree can be more refined than the input trees.
Tree compatibility can be characterized in terms of the existence of a specific kind of triangulation in a structure known as the display graph. Alternatively, it can be characterized as a chordal graph sandwich problem in a structure known as the edge label intersection graph. Here, we show that the latter characterization yields a natural characterization of compatibility in terms of minimal cuts in the display graph, which is closely related to compatibility of splits. We then derive a characterization for agreement.

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