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Case Study: Visualizing Sets of Evolutionary Trees

Summary: Case Study:
Visualizing Sets of Evolutionary Trees
Nina Amenta Jeff Klingner
University of Texas at Austin
We describe a visualization tool which allows a biologist
to explore a large set of hypothetical evolutionary trees. In-
teracting with such a dataset allows the biologist to identify
distinct hypotheses about how different species or organ-
isms evolved, which would not have been clear from tra-
ditional analyses. Our system integrates a point-set visu-
alization of the distribution of hypothetical trees with detail
views of an individual tree, or of a consensus tree summariz-
ing a subset of trees. Efficient algorithms were required for
the key tasks of computing distances between trees, finding
consensus trees, and laying out the point-set visualization.
1 Introduction
Systematic biology: Systematic biologists study evolution
and construct evolutionary trees, also called phylogenies.
Although they expect that all life belongs to a single evo-


Source: Amenta, Nina - Department of Computer Science, University of California, Davis


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences