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IEEE/ACM Trans Comput Biol Bioinform. 2013 Jul 31. [Epub ahead of print]

Temporal Logics for Phylogenetic Analysis via Model Checking.

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  • 1University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza.


The need for general-purpose algorithms for studying biological properties in phylogenetics motivates research into formal verification frameworks. Researchers can focus their efforts exclusively on evolution trees and property specifications. To this end, model checking, a mature automated verification technique originating in computer science, is applied to phylogenetic analysis. Our approach is based on three cornerstones: a logical modeling of the evolution with transition systems; the specification of both phylogenetic properties and trees using flexible temporal logic formulas; and the verification of the latter by means of automated computer tools. The most conspicuous result is the inception of a formal framework which allows for a symbolic manipulation of biological data (based on the codification of the taxa). Additionally, different logical models of evolution can be considered, complex properties can be specified in terms of the logical composition of others, and the refinement of unfulfilled properties as well as the discovery of new properties can be undertaken by exploiting the verification results. Some experimental results using a Symbolic Model Verifier support the feasibility of the approach.

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