CRAN status


The package treenomial is an application of polynomials that uniquely describe trees. It provides tools for tree analysis and comparison based on polynomials. The core functions are:

For the mathematical description of the tree defining polynomial see:

Liu, Pengyu. “A tree distinguishing polynomial.” arXiv preprint arXiv:1904.03332 (2019).


To install using CRAN:


For the development version:


Example tree and polynomial

Consider a three tip tree:


threeTipTree <- rtree(3, rooted = T)
plot.phylo(threeTipTree, use.edge.length = F, show.tip.label = F, direction = "downwards")

It’s polynomial is x^3+xy+y which can equivalently be described with a coefficient matrix where the element in the ith row, jth column represents the y^(i-1) * x^(j-1) coefficient:

treeToPoly(threeTipTree, varLabels = T)
#>     x^0 x^1 x^2 x^3
#> y^0   0   0   0   1
#> y^1   1   1   0   0
#> y^2   0   0   0   0

Using the coefficients of the polynomials, distances between trees can be compared, below the two closest trees to a random target tree are found from a random sample:

# random 12 tip target tree 
target <- rtree(12)

# random sample of 100 trees
sample <- rmtree(100,12)

minInfo <- plotExtremeTrees(target,sample, n = 2, comparison = "min", type = "d")