Skip to Main Content
The optimal transformation of one tree into another by means of elementary edit operations is an important algorithmic problem that has several interesting applications to computational biology. Here we introduce a constrained form of this problem in which a partial mapping of a set of nodes (the "seeds") in one tree to a corresponding set of nodes in the other tree is given, and present efficient algorithms for both ordered and unordered trees. Whereas ordered tree matching based on seeded nodes has applications in pattern matching of RNA structures, unordered tree matching based on seeded nodes has applications in co-speciation and phylogeny reconciliation. The latter involves the solution of the planar tanglegram layout problem, for which a polynomial-time algorithm is given here.