Computer scientists pioneer method to determine taxonomic relationships

Monday, September 19, 2022

At the Cheriton School of Computer Science, researchers are using unsupervised machine learning to determine taxonomic relationships between organisms. 

Computer scientists standing outside

Lila Kari, a professor of computer science, along with her PhD students Pablo Millán Arias and Fatemeh Alipour and her colleague Professor Kathleen Hill at Western University’s Department of Biology pioneered this new method, titled Deep Learning for Unsupervised Clustering of DNA Sequences, or DeLUCS for short. 

“The evolutionary relationships that DeLUCS determines match true taxonomic groups with very high accuracy, ranging from 77 per cent right up to 100 per cent across a range of genetic datasets from organisms as diverse as vertebrates, bacteria and viruses,” Kari says. 

Learn more about DeLUCS in the feature article on the Cheriton School of Computer Science website.