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Trees are a canonical structure for representing evolutionary histories. Many popular criteria used to infer optimal trees are computationally hard, and the number of possible tree shapes grows super-exponentially in the number of taxa. The underlying structure of the spaces of trees yields rich insights that can improve the search for optimal trees, both in accuracy and in running time, and the analysis and visualization of results. We review the past work on analyzing and comparing trees by their shape as well as recent work that incorporates trees with weighted branch lengths.


This article was originally published in Systematic Biology, available at DOI:10.1093/sysbio/syw025.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY NC 4.0).


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