An Efficient Independence Sampler for Updating Branches in Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo Sampling of Phylogenetic Trees
Sampling tree space is the most challenging aspect of Bayesian phylogenetic inference. The sheer number of alternative topologies is problematic by itself. In addition, the complex dependency between branch lengths and topology increases the difficulty of moving efficiently among topologies. Current... Full description
Journal Title:  Systematic Biology 20160101, Vol.65 (1), p.161176 
Main Author:  Aberer, Andre J 
Other Authors:  Stamatakis, Alexandros , Ronquist, Fredrik 
Format:  Electronic Article 
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English 
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Quelle:  Alma/SFX Local Collection 
Publisher:  England: Oxford University Press 
ID:  ISSN: 10635157 
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recordid:  cdi_pubmedcentral_primary_oai_pubmedcentral_nih_gov_4678251 
title:  An Efficient Independence Sampler for Updating Branches in Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo Sampling of Phylogenetic Trees 
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ispartof:  Systematic Biology, 20160101, Vol.65 (1), p.161176 
description:  Sampling tree space is the most challenging aspect of Bayesian phylogenetic inference. The sheer number of alternative topologies is problematic by itself. In addition, the complex dependency between branch lengths and topology increases the difficulty of moving efficiently among topologies. Current tree proposals are fast but sample new trees using primitive transformations or remappings of old branch lengths. This reduces acceptance rates and presumably slows down convergence and mixing. Here, we explore branch proposals that do not rely on old branch lengths but instead are based on approximations of the conditional posterior. Using a diverse set of empirical data sets, we show that most conditional branch posteriors can be accurately approximated via a Γ distribution. We empirically determine the relationship between the logarithmic conditional posterior density, its derivatives, and the characteristics of the branch posterior. We use these relationships to derive an independence sampler for proposing branches with an acceptance ratio of ~90% on most data sets. This proposal samples branches between 2× and 3× more efficiently than traditional proposals with respect to the effective sample size per unit of runtime. We also compare the performance of standard topology proposals with hybrid proposals that use the new independence sampler to update those branches that are most affected by the topological change. Our results show that hybrid proposals can sometimes noticeably decrease the number of generations necessary for topological convergence. Inconsistent performance gains indicate that branch updates are not the limiting factor in improving topological convergence for the currently employed set of proposals. However, our independence sampler might be essential for the construction of novel tree proposals that apply more radical topology changes. 
language:  eng 
source:  Alma/SFX Local Collection 
identifier:  ISSN: 10635157 
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