The Complexity of Checking Consistency of Pedigree Information and Related Problems

  • Luca Aceto
  • Jens A. Hansen
  • Anna Ingólfsdóttir
  • Jacob Johnsen
  • John Knudsen
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2841)


Consistency checking is a fundamental computational problem in genetics. Given a pedigree and information on the genotypes (of some) of the individuals in it, the aim of consistency checking is to determine whether these data are consistent with the classic Mendelian laws of inheritance. This problem arose originally from the geneticists’ need to filter their input data from erroneous information, and is well motivated from both a biological and a sociological viewpoint. This paper shows that consistency checking is NP-complete, even with focus on a single gene and in the presence of three alleles. Several other results on the computational complexity of problems from genetics that are related to consistency checking are also offered. In particular, it is shown that checking the consistency of pedigrees over two alleles, and of pedigrees without loops, can be done in polynomial time.


Polynomial Time Consistency Check Conjunctive Normal Form Genotype Information Pedigree Analysis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Aceto
    • 1
  • Jens A. Hansen
    • 1
  • Anna Ingólfsdóttir
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jacob Johnsen
    • 1
  • John Knudsen
    • 1
  1. 1.BRICS (Basic Research in Computer Science), Centre of the Danish National Research Foundation, Department of Computer ScienceAalborg UniversityAalborg ØDenmark
  2. 2.deCODE GeneticsReykjavíkIceland

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