Megan Owen, Postdoctoral Associate at North Carolina State University
North Carolina State Universtiy
In 2001, Billera, Holmes, and Vogtmann introduced a continuous, geometric space of phylogenetic trees, in which there is a unique shortest path between any two points (trees) in this space. The length of this path is called the geodesic distance between phylogenetic trees. However, the complexity of computing this distance is an open problem. In this talk, I will give a polynomial time algorithm for finding the geodesic distance. This space is also non-positively curved, which ensures there is an average or mean tree for a given set of trees. I will also describe this mean tree, and how to compute it. This is joint work with Scott Provan and Ezra Miller.