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Friday, May 20, 2005

Bayesian Phylogenetic Model Selection Using Reversible Jump Markov Chain Monte Carlo

Mol. Biol. Evol. 21(6):1123-1133. 2004
John P. Huelsenbeck, Bret Larget, and Michael E. Alfaro

Abstract: A common problem in molecular phylogenetics is choosing a model of DNA substitution that does a good job of explaining the DNA sequence alignment without introducing superfluous parameters. A number of methods have been used to choose among a small set of candidate substitution models, such as the likelihood ratio test, the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC), the Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC), and Bayes factors. Current implementations of any of these criteria suffer from the limitation that only a small set of models are examined, or that the test does not allow easy comparison of non-nested models. In this article, we expand the pool of candidate substitution models to include all possible time-reversible models. This set includes seven models that have already been described. We show how Bayes factors can be calculated for these models using reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo, and apply the method to 16 DNA sequence alignments. [Follow the link above to read more.]

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