Treecmp: comparison of Trees in polynomial Time
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When a phylogenetic reconstruction does not result in one tree but in several, tree metrics permit finding out how far the reconstructed trees are from one another. They also permit to assess the accuracy of a reconstruction if a true tree is known. TreeCmp implements eight metrics that can be calculated in polynomial time for arbitrary (not only bifurcating) trees: four for unrooted (Matching Split metric, which we have recently proposed, Robinson-Foulds, Path Difference, Quartet) and four for rooted trees (Matching Cluster, Robinson-Foulds cluster, Nodal Splitted and Triple). TreeCmp is the first implementation of Matching Split/Cluster metrics and the first efficient and convenient implementation of Nodal Splitted. It allows to compare relatively large trees. We provide an example of the application of TreeCmp to compare the accuracy of ten approaches to phylogenetic reconstruction with trees up to 5000 external nodes, using a measure of accuracy based on normalized similarity between trees.
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