The neighbour-joining method reconstructs phylogenies by iteratively joining pairs of nodes until a single node remains. The criterion for which pair of nodes to merge is based on both the distance between the pair and the average distance to the rest of the nodes. In this paper, we present a new search strategy for the optimisation criteria used for selecting the next pair to merge and we show empirically that the new search strategy is superior to other state-of-the-art neighbour-joining implementations.
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