Large deviations for random trees and the branching of RNA secondary structures

Yuri Bakhtin, Christine E. Heitsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We give a Large Deviation Principle (LDP) with explicit rate function for the distribution of vertex degrees in plane trees, a combinatorial model of RNA secondary structures. We calculate the typical degree distributions based on nearest neighbor free energies, and compare our results with the branching configurations found in two sets of large RNA secondary structures. We find substantial agreement overall, with some interesting deviations which merit further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-106
Number of pages23
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Branching loops
  • Gibbs distributions
  • Large deviations
  • Picornavirus
  • RNA secondary structure
  • Random trees
  • Ribosome
  • Vertex degree

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Immunology
  • General Mathematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Pharmacology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Large deviations for random trees and the branching of RNA secondary structures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this