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Constructing computer virus phylogenies

Goldberg, Leslie A., Goldberg, Paul W., Phillips, Cynthia A. and Sorkin, Gregory B. (1998) Constructing computer virus phylogenies. Journal of Algorithms, 26 (1). pp. 188-208. ISSN 0196-6774

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Identification Number: 10.1006/jagm.1997.0897


There has been much recent algorithmic work on the problem of reconstructing the evolutionary history of biological species. Computer virus specialists are interested in finding the evolutionary history of computer viruses—a virus is often written using code fragments from one or more other viruses, which are its immediate ancestors. A phylogeny for a collection of computer viruses is a directed acyclic graph whose nodes are the viruses and whose edges map ancestors to descendants and satisfy the property that each code fragment is “invented” only once. To provide a simple explanation for the data, we consider the problem of constructing such a phylogeny with a minimum number of edges. This optimization problem is NP-hard, and we present positive and negative results for associated approximation problems. When tree solutions exist, they can be constructed and randomly sampled in polynomial time.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 1998 Academic Press
Divisions: Management
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2011 14:59
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 23:09

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