Core Development: Design


These are an attempt so summarize our discussion on this but may include some of my personal biases. Please discuss/edit.


We will provide an infrastructure for efficient MCMC that is independent of its actual application. This is currently the contents of beast.core and a few other packages but should probably be put in a separate top-level package to denote its independence. The ‘BEAST2’ project is then a implementation of the BEAST functionality for this infrastructure providing evolutionary analysis. This may mean that we simply have a beast.jar file in the plugins folder for the framework (although we would probably provide BEAST ‘branded’ application launchers etc).


  • Plugin is a concrete class which most public components of the architecture will be derived from [AR – Plugin is currently concrete meaning we can instantiate it – is this desirable?].
  • Any plugin that will contribute to the MCMC ‘State’ should be derived from StateNode.
  • Optional functionality will be defined by interfaces which can be implemented if required (i.e., the interface Cacheable for plugins that need to cache intermediate calculations).
  • These interfaces can provide an inner, abstract, implementation called Base that can provide boiler-plate functionality. Base will extend from Plugin (or some descendant of Plugin). If not requiring a ‘mix-in’ of behaviour, a concrete class can simply extend one of these Base classes.
  • Where possible, Inputs should take, as a type for the generic, an interface (but the Input class checks that the actual instance extends Plugin at runtime). This allows a flexible mix-in behaviour.

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Bayesian evolutionary analysis by sampling trees