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The probabilities of rooted tree-shapes generated by random bifurcation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 2016

E. F. Harding*
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge

Abstract

The set of rooted trees, generated by random bifurcation at the terminal nodes, is considered with the aims of enumerating it and of determining its probability distribution. The account of enumeration collates much previous work and attempts a complete perspective of the problems and their solutions. Asymptotic and numerical results are given, and some unsolved problems are pointed out. The problem of ascertaining the probability distribution is solved by obtaining its governing recurrence equation, and numerical results are given. The difficult problem of determining the most probable tree-shape of given size is considered, and for labelled trees a conjecture at its solution is offered. For unlabelled shapes the problem remains open. These mathematical problems arise in attempting to reconstruct evolutionary trees by the statistical approach of Cavalli-Sforza and Edwards.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Applied Probability Trust 1971 

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