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We derive a branch-and-bound algorithm to find an optimal inversion median of three signed permutations. The algorithm prunes to manageable size an extremely large search tree using simple geometric properties of the problem and a newly available linear-time routine for inversion distance. Our experiments on simulated data sets indicate that the algorithm finds optimal medians in reasonable time for genomes of medium size when distances are not too large, as commonly occurs in phylogeny reconstruction. In addition, we have compared inversion and breakpoint medians, and found that inversion medians generally score significantly better and tend to be far more unique, which should make them valuable in median-based tree-building algorithms.