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*To*: dinosaur@usc.edu*Subject*: Keesey on a mathematical approach to defining clade names -- or -- Whatever Happened To Baby New Papers?*From*: Mike Taylor <mike@indexdata.com>*Date*: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 23:06:44 +0100*Reply-to*: mike@indexdata.com*Sender*: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu

I'm delighted to announce that arrival of a new and potentially important paper: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1463-6409.2007.00302.x Keesey, T. Michael. 2007. A mathematical approach to defining clade names, with potential applications to computer storage and processing. Zoologica Scripta, **, ***-***. Although the page-numbers have not yet been allocated, the PDF is online already. Everyone know knows Mike will know that this paper represents the culmination of several years' cogitation, and puts PN on a much-needed firm mathematical basis by introducing a clade calculus for AFAIK the first time. Here's the abstract: Clade names may be objectively defined based on conditions of phylogeny. Definitions usually take one of three forms -- node-, branch- or apomorphy-based -- but other forms and complex permutations of these forms are also possible. Some database projects have attempted to store definitions of clade names in a manner accessible to computer applications, but, so far, they have only provided ways of storing the most common types of definition. To create a more extensible system, I have taken a mathematical approach to defining clade names. To render definitions accessible to computer storage and analysis, I propose using Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) with extensions. Since the mathematical approach is granular to the level of the organism, not to fuzzy higher levels such as population or species, it sheds light on some theoretical difficulties with defining clade names. For example, some definitions do not resolve to a single organism as the ancestor, but to sets of organisms which are not ancestral to each other and share common descendants. I term such sets 'cladogenetic sets'. And for anyone who's wondering, yes he _does_ manage to express the horrific phylogenetic definition of Ichyornis (Clarke 2004) not only as a rigorous mathematical formula, but also (as an encore) in MathXML! _/|_ ___________________________________________________________________ /o ) \/ Mike Taylor <mike@indexdata.com> http://www.miketaylor.org.uk )_v__/\ "Machines take me by surprise with great frequency" -- Alan Turing.

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: Keesey on a mathematical approach to defining clade names -- or -- Whatever Happened To Baby New Papers?***From:*"T. Michael Keesey" <keesey@gmail.com>

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