Constructing Camin-Sokal Phylogenies Via Answer Set Programming

  • Jonathan Kavanagh
  • David Mitchell
  • Eugenia Ternovska
  • Ján Maňuch
  • Xiaohong Zhao
  • Arvind Gupta
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4246)


Constructing parsimonious phylogenetic trees from species data is a central problem in phylogenetics, and has diverse applications, even outside biology. Many variations of the problem, including the cladistic Camin-Sokal (CCS) version, are NP-complete. We present Answer Set Programming (ASP) models for the binary CCS problem, as well as a simpler perfect phylogeny version, along with experimental results of applying the models to biological data. Our contribution is three-fold. First, we solve phylogeny problems which have not previously been tackled by ASP. Second, we report on variants of our CCS model which significantly affect run time, including the interesting case of making the program “slightly tighter”. This version exhibits some of the best performance, in contrast with a tight version of the model which exhibited poor performance. Third, we are able to find proven-optimal solutions for larger instances of the CCS problem than the widely used branch-and-bound-based PHYLIP package.


phylogeny maximum parsimony Camin-Sokal answer set programming 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Kavanagh
    • 1
  • David Mitchell
    • 1
  • Eugenia Ternovska
    • 1
  • Ján Maňuch
    • 1
  • Xiaohong Zhao
    • 1
  • Arvind Gupta
    • 1
  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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