Tuesday Discussion on Statistical Issues

This discussion was moderated by Ruth Charney.

Q. Diaconis suggested making a list of the kinds of noise, or sources of variation, that are implicit in estimating trees? Participant discussion led to the following list:

Q. are these problems worth working on incrementally or all at once? Which ones are most important? (Diaconis)

Q. Can we define the geometry (distance) on tree space to behave well with respect to a particular model?

Q. What are residuals for trees, and how do we estimate the residuals? (Residuals measure how far each data point is from fitted tree.) Are there graphical methods for detecting departure from the model? (Penny)

Q. Random walks on sets of trees (using tree rotations)- how fast does it converge?

Q. What are appropriate meeasures on tree space?

Q. If exact distances aren't easy to compute, can we obtain any upper and lower bounds for distances (such as the BHV metric)? (Su)

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