Hotel Estoril Eden, Monte Estoril,
5-8 October 2005



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hylogenetic Trees via Hamming Distance Decomposition Tests

C. A. F. Anselmo and Aluísio Pinheiro
Departamento de Estatística, UNICAMP, Brazil

This work considers the problem of phylogenetic tree construction. Our approach to the the problem bases itself on a non-parametric paradigma seeking a model free construction and symmetry on Type I and II errors. Trees are constructed through sequential tests using Hamming distance dissimilarity measures, from internal nodes to the tips. The method presents some novelties. The first, which is an advantages over the traditional methods, is that it is very fast, computationally efficient, and feasible to be used for very large datasets. Two other novelties are its capacity to deal directly with multiple sequences per group (and built its statistical properties upon this richer information) and that the best tree will not have a predetermined number of tips, i.e., the resulting number of tips will be statistically meaningful. We applied the method in a sample of primate mitochondrial DNA sequences, illustrating that it can perform quite well even on very unbalanced design. Computational complexities are also addressed.