The triplet distance is a distance measure that compares two rooted trees on the same set of leaves by enumerating all sub-sets of three leaves and counting how often the induced topologies of the tree are equal or different. We present an algorithm that computes the triplet distance between two rooted binary trees in time O (n log2 n). The algorithm is related to an algorithm for computing the quartet distance between two unrooted binary trees in time O (n log n). While the quartet distance algorithm has a very severe overhead in the asymptotic time complexity that makes it impractical compared to O (n2) time algorithms, we show through experiments that the triplet distance algorithm can be implemented to give a competitive wall-time running time.
B M C Bioinformatics, 2013, Vol 14, Issue Suppl 2
Triplet distance; Binary tree
Main Research Area:
The Asia Pacific Bioinformatics ConferenceAsia-Pacific Bioinformatics Conference, 2013