A Fast Algorithm for Computing the Quartet Distance for Large Sets of Evolutionary Trees

  • Ralph W. Crosby
  • Tiffani L. Williams
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7292)


We present the QuickQuartet algorithm for computing the all-to-all quartet distance for large evolutionary tree collections. By leveraging the relationship between bipartitions and quartets, our approach significantly improves upon the performance of existing quartet distance algorithms. To explore QuickQuartet’s performance, sets of biological data containing 20,000 and 33,306 trees over 150 taxa and 567 taxa, respectively are analyzed. Experimental results show that QuickQuartet is up to 100 times faster than existing methods. With the availability of QuickQuartet, the use of quartet distance as a tool for analysis of evolutionary relationships becomes a practical tool for biologists to use in order to gain new insights regarding their large tree collections.


Directed Acyclic Graph Target Tree Hash Table Internal Edge Source Tree 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph W. Crosby
    • 1
  • Tiffani L. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityUSA

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