This was part of Algebraic Statistics for Ecological and Biological Systems

Ultrafast learning of hybridization networks using phylogenetic invariants

Claudia Solis Lemus, University of Wisconsin

Wednesday, October 11, 2023


We will discuss a novel method to reconstruct phylogenetic networks based on algebraic invariants. While there is a long tradition of using algebraic invariants in phylogenetics, our work is the first to define phylogenetic invariants on concordance factors (frequencies of 4-taxon splits in the input gene trees) to identify level-1 phylogenetic networks under the multispecies coalescent model. Our novel inference methodology is optimization-free as it only requires the evaluation of polynomial equations, and as such, it bypasses the traversal of network space, yielding a computational speed at least 10 times faster than the fastest-to-date network methods. We illustrate the accuracy and speed of our new method on a variety of simulated scenarios as well as in the estimation of a phylogenetic network for the genus Canis.