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## The Future of Phylogenetic Networks |

The traditional model for representing
evolution is the
Biologists have long been interested in
networks as representations of biological patterns, even before the advent of
the tree model. However, it is only recently that mathematicians and computer
scientists have started studying this topic, in order to develop realistic
algorithms that can construct phylogenetic networks from biological data.
Moreover, the methods developed so far are not yet entirely suitable for the
purposes of biologists. The main shortcoming is that the mathematical models
and methods developed do not explicitly represent the evolutionary history of
the organisms. Consequently, biological publications continue to use
phylogenetic trees to display evolutionary relationships even in studies where
a network would be more suitable — the available software is not yet able to answer
the specific questions that biologists have. Thus, new mathematical models and
algorithms are required to better fit the present and future needs of
biologists. The first purpose of the workshop is that biologists
from various sub-disciplines explain to mathematicians and computer scientists
their specific requirements for phylogenetic network models, in order to make
them useful for their work. In return, the mathematicians will outline the
inherent mathematical limitations of various algorithmic approaches, and
highlight potentially fruitful avenues for future development. By interacting
in lectures and group discussions, we will thus identify the key features of
phylogenetic networks that are important for any successful algorithm, both
from the biological and computational aspects. The ultimate goal of the workshop is that, through
close collaborations, mathematical research on phylogenetic networks will lead
to more practical methods, ultimately resulting in more widespread use of
phylogenetic network software by biologists. [Back] |