A tight kernel for computing the tree bisection and reconnection distance between two phylogenetic trees

Steven Kelk, Simone Linz

In 2001 Allen and Steel showed that, if subtree and chain reduction rules have been applied to two unrooted phylogenetic trees, the reduced trees will have at most 28k taxa where k is the TBR (Tree Bisection and Reconnection) distance between the two trees. Here we reanalyse Allen and Steel's kernelization algorithm and prove that the reduced instances will in fact have at most 15k-9 taxa. Moreover we show, by describing a family of instances which have exactly 15k-9 taxa after reduction, that this new bound is tight. These instances also have no common clusters, showing that a third commonly-encountered reduction rule, the cluster reduction, cannot further reduce the size of the kernel in the worst case. To achieve these results we introduce and use "unrooted generators" which are analogues of rooted structures that have appeared earlier in the phylogenetic networks literature. Using similar argumentation we show that, for the minimum hybridization problem on two rooted trees, 9k-2 is a tight bound (when subtree and chain reduction rules have been applied) and 9k-4 is a tight bound (when, additionally, the cluster reduction has been applied) on the number of taxa, where k is the hybridization number of the two trees.

Knowledge Graph



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