Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Phylogenetic networks at summer math conferences
Phylogenetic networks continue to make cameo appearances at conferences on combinatorial optimization. At the International Symposium on Mathematical Programming (ISMP) in Berlin (August 20-24) there were four talks on phylogenetics, of which two were about (rooted) phylogenetic networks. ISMP was truly massive; there were typically twenty or thirty parallel talks per session, and approximately two thousand participants. Despite this enormous scale the phylogenetics sessions were reasonably well attended. The abstracts for the phylogeny talks can be viewed by searching for the word phylogenetic in the book of abstracts.
There was also attention for phylogenetic networks at the Workshop on Applications of Parameterized Algorithms and Complexity (APAC2012) at the University of Warwick in England (July 8). This was a satellite workshop of the well-known International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP) conference, also held at Warwick this year. Norbert Zeh gave the presentation Comparing Phylogenies: Kernelization, Depth-Bounded Search and Beyond which discussed, amongst other topics, computation of rSPR distance and hybridization number. In fact, this talk figures in the most recent newsletter of the fixed-parameter tractability community. As explained on the APAC website the goal of fixed parameter tractability is to create algorithms in which the running time of the algorithm is dependent on several variables, but in a "decoupled'' sense, which can help limit the explosion in the running time as the size of the input increases. There is a nice survey article from 2007 about this topic: Fixed Parameter Algorithms in Phylogenetics by Gramm et al.
Are there any other recent math conferences where phylogenetic networks have figured?