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Constructing level-2 phylogenetic networks from triplets

  • van Iersel, Leo
  • Keijsper, Judith
  • Kelk, Steven
  • Stougie, Leen
Publication Date
Jul 19, 2007
Submission Date
Jul 19, 2007
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Jansson and Sung showed that, given a dense set of input triplets T (representing hypotheses about the local evolutionary relationships of triplets of species), it is possible to determine in polynomial time whether there exists a level-1 network consistent with T, and if so to construct such a network. They also showed that, unlike in the case of trees (i.e. level-0 networks), the problem becomes NP-hard when the input is non-dense. Here we further extend this work by showing that, when the set of input triplets is dense, the problem is even polynomial-time solvable for the construction of level-2 networks. This shows that, assuming density, it is tractable to construct plausible evolutionary histories from input triplets even when such histories are heavily non-tree like. This further strengthens the case for the use of triplet-based methods in the construction of phylogenetic networks. We also show that, in the non-dense case, the level-2 problem remains NP-hard.

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