Phylogenetic networks are a type of leaf-labelled, acyclic, directed graph used by biologists to represent the evolutionary history of species whose past includes reticulation events. A phylogenetic network is tree–child if each non-leaf vertex is the parent of a tree vertex or a leaf. Up to a certain equivalence, it has been recently shown that, under two different types of weightings, edge-weighted tree–child networks are determined by their collection of distances between each pair of taxa. However, the size of these collections can be exponential in the size of the taxa set. In this paper, we show that, if we have no “shortcuts”, that is, the networks are normal, the same results are obtained with only a quadratic number of inter-taxa distances by using the shortest distance between each pair of taxa. The proofs are constructive and give cubic-time algorithms in the size of the taxa sets for building such weighted networks.
Distance matrix Tree–child network Normal network
Mathematics Subject Classification
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We thank the anonymous referees for their helpful comments. Katharina Huber and Vincent Moulton also thank the Biomathematics Research Centre at the University of Canterbury for its hospitality.
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