Best phenetics software? -Reply

Murray Dawson DawsonM at LANDCARE.CRI.NZ
Tue Jul 8 14:56:00 CDT 1997

Thanks for the reply,

Actually, I have used the DELTA clustering "add-on" a few weeks ago,
during a DELTA workshop.  It did work very well, and accepted
everyones data, without complaint or modification.

However, as far as I am aware, the add-on is limited and will only do
clustering, not ordination.  Furthermore, if you only wished to do a
phenetic analysis and your data was not already in the DELTA format, it
would be a tedious business to do the neccessary formatting.

Good point though!

Murray Dawson

>>> nickl 8/July/1997 10:09pm >>>

Although not widely advertised, the DELTA system for descriptive
includes software for phenetics analysis, called PCLASS. The following
taken from the documentation CLASS.DOC

"The following programs work on distance matrices produced by the
DIST. They are currently undocumented. To run them, enter the program
and respond to the prompts, which request information such as the
number of
OTU's (taxa) and the name of the distance-matrix file.

"PCLASS  Agglomerative clustering by combinatorial sorting strategies.
"NSIM    Lists nearest neighbours of taxa.

"Trees produced by PCLASS can be plotted on PostScript printers, as
follows. PCLASS produces a fusion table on a `data-transfer' file with
extension .TRE (e.g. GRASS.TRE). Run TXPLOT, and enter the name of
file when the name of the `input file' is requested. Output is produced on
a file with extension .PLT (e.g. GRASS.PLT). This file is converted to
PostScript and printed by running PLTPRINT, e.g.PLTPRINT GRASS
PLTPRINT.BAT, which invokes the program PLT2PS.EXE, may need to be
to suit local conditions. As supplied, it defaults to A4 paper, and
printing is done by means of a PRINT command.

"The public-domain program Ghostscript (not supplied) can be used to
display PostScript files on VGA screens or to print them on various
non-PostScript printers."

The point is that data coded in DELTA can be passed immediately to
Equally well it can be passed to formats suitable for input to cladistics
programs including Hennig86, PAUP, MACLADE.  And, of course, once
coded in
DELTA format one's data can be used to generate a plethora of other
including natural language, printed keys, interactive keys, distance
matrices, HTML, RTF, etc.

Original Text
From: Murray Dawson <DawsonM at LANDCARE.CRI.NZ>, on 7/8/97
11:33 AM:

Would anyone like to contribute their thoughts on the "best" software for
numerical taxonomy?

Criteria of a prospective package: user-friendly, flexible, powerful
(universal requirements!); relevant to taxonomists and well-suited for
handling both qualitative and quantitative characters; capable of cluster
analysis and ordination.

PATN (Australian-developed) and NTSYS are two I have heard of - any

PLEASE let us avoid the age-old arguments of phenetics versus

I have followed the recent string on the "best" herbarium DBMS software
with interest - it is really productive to gain a rough consensus based on
such a large pool of experience.

Murray Dawson

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