Measuring uncertainty by the expected distance between placement locations (EDPL). The Expected Distance between Placement Locations (EDPL) uncertainty metric can indicate if placement uncertainty may pose a problem for downstream analysis. The EDPL uncertainty is the sum of the distances between the optimal placements weighted by their probability (4). The hollow stars on the left side of the tree depict a case where there is considerable uncertainty as to the exact placement edge, but the collection of possible edges all sit in a small region of the tree. This local uncertainty would have a low EDPL score. The full stars on the right side of the diagram would have a large EDPL, as the different placements are spread widely across the tree. Such a situation can be flagged for special treatment or removal.
Matsen et al. BMC Bioinformatics 2010 11:538 doi:10.1186/1471-2105-11-538