Evolutionary Trees Can be Learned in Polynomial Time in the Two-State General Markov Model

M. Cryan, L. Goldberg, P. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The j-state general Markov model of evolution (due to Steel) is a stochastic model concerned with the evolution of strings over an alphabet of size j. In particular, the two-state general Markov model of evolution generalizes the well-known Cavender--Farris--Neyman model of evolution by removing the symmetry restriction (which requires that the probability that a "0" turns into a "1" along an edge is the same as the probability that a "1" turns into a "0" along the edge). Farach and Kannan showed how to probably approximately correct (PAC)-learn Markov evolutionary trees in the Cavender--Farris--Neyman model provided that the target tree satisfies the additional restriction that all pairs of leaves have a sufficiently high probability of being the same. We show how to remove both restrictions and thereby obtain the first polynomial-time PAC-learning algorithm (in the sense of Kearns et al. [Proceedings of the 26th Annual ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing, 1994, pp. 273--282]) for the general class of two-state Markov evolutionary trees.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-397
Number of pages23
JournalSIAM Journal on Computing
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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