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Fundamental differences between the Methods of Maximum Likelihood and Maximum Posterior Probabilities in Phylogenetics
Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Mathematics. Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Mathematics, Mathematical Statistics.
Faculty of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology. Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Mathematics, Mathematical Statistics.
Faculty of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology. Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Mathematics, Mathematical Statistics.
2006 (English)In: Systematic Biology, ISSN 1063-5157 print / 1076-836X online, Vol. 55, no 1, 116-121 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using a four-taxon example under a simple model of evolution, we show that the methods of maximum likelihood and maximum posterior probability (which is a Bayesian method of inference) may not arrive at the same optimal tree topology. Some patterns that are separately uninformative under the maximum likelihood method are separately informative under the Bayesian method. We also show that this difference has impact on the bootstrap frequencies and the posterior probabilities of topologies, which therefore are not necessarily approximately equal. Efron et al. (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93:13429-13434, 1996) stated that bootstrap frequencies can, under certain circumstances, be interpreted as posterior probabilities. This is true only if one includes a noninformative prior distribution of the possible data patterns, and most often the prior distributions are instead specified in terms of topology and branch lengths.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 55, no 1, 116-121 p.
Keyword [en]
Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood method, Phylogeny, support
National Category
Probability Theory and Statistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-22387DOI: doi:10.1080/10635150500481648OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-22387DiVA: diva2:50160
Available from: 2007-01-17 Created: 2007-01-17 Last updated: 2011-01-11

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