Computing the Quartet Distance between Evolutionary Trees in Time O(n log2n)

  • Gerth Stølting Brodal
  • Rolf Fagerberg
  • Christian N. S. Pedersen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2223)


Evolutionary trees describing the relationship for a set of species are central in evolutionary biology, and quantifying differences between evolutionary trees is an important task. One previously proposed measure for this is the quartet distance. The quartet distance between two unrooted evolutionary trees is the number of quartet topology differences between the two trees, where a quartet topology is the topological subtree induced by four species. In this paper, we present an algorithm for computing the quartet distance between two unrooted evolutionary trees of n species in time O(n log2 n). The previous best algorithm runs in time O(n 2).


Internal Node Evolutionary Tree External Edge Hierarchical Decomposition Unrooted Tree 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerth Stølting Brodal
    • 1
  • Rolf Fagerberg
    • 1
  • Christian N. S. Pedersen
    • 1
  1. 1.BRICS — Basic Research in Computer Science, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of AarhusÅrhus CDenmark

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