Exact enumeration of cherries and pitchforks in ranked trees under the coalescent model

Filippo Disanto, Thomas Wiehe

We consider exact enumerations and probabilistic properties of ranked trees when generated under the random coalescent process. Using a new approach, based on generating functions, we derive several statistics such as the exact probability of finding k cherries in a ranked tree of fixed size n. We then extend our method to consider also the number of pitchforks. We find a recursive formula to calculate the joint and conditional probabilities of cherries and pitch- forks when the size of the tree is fixed.

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