ON MISSING ENTRIES IN CLADISTIC ANALYSIS

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Abstract

Abstract The exact algorithms of two commonly used parsimony programs, Hennig86 by J. S. Farris and PAUP by D. Swofford, sometimes produce different solutions, and sometimes produce resolutions that are not supported by the data being analysed. The discrepancies apparently involve the treatment of missing entries, which can currently represent unknown data, inapplicable character and/or polymorphic taxa. Each of those potential sources of ambiguity is logically (if not computationally) different; with regard to binary characters, unknown data could be either 0 or 1, inapplicable characters are neither 0 nor 1 and polymorphisms are both 0 and 1. Resolutions that cannot be supported by any possible combination of known state attributions should either be flagged as such or suppressed entirely.

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