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Continuous Time Conjunctive Bayesian Networks

Current version

0.1.04a Nov 2015


CT-CBN is a collection of two C programs, ct-cbn and h-cbn, that implement algorithms for model selection and maximum likelihood parameter estimation for continuous time conjunctive Bayesian networks. These graphical models have been designed to model the accumulation of mutations subject to constraints on the order in which the mutations can occur. The order constraints are encoded as a partially ordered set (poset) of genetic events. The waiting time for each event follows an independent exponential distribution. 

The original ct-cbn program by Beerenwinkel and Sullivant (2009) implements selection of an optimal poset and estimation of exponential rates from censored data consisting only of the observed mutational patterns. 

The hidden conjunctive Bayesian network model h-cbn accounts for noisy genotype observations (Gerstung et al., 2009). It also implemented a simulated annealing algorithm for structure search, a denoising of the genotypes via the maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimates, and the computation of the most likely progression.


CT-CBN is distributed under the GNU General Public License.

For changes between versions please see the file CHANGELOG.


Please consult the README file. The software requires the GSL library. A compiler with OpenMP support is highly recommended.

Data sets

We provide a collection of genetic data sets from three cancer studies conducted by the Vogelstein lab. The data consists of three tables with mutations and a mapping of genes to 12 core pathways (Parsons et al, 2008). The package also contains the python module cbn.py for parsing the raw data and for bootstrap and permutation analyses. The module requires the numpy python module.

Authors and Contributors


  • Quantifying cancer progression with conjunctive Bayesian networks
    Moritz Gerstung, Michael Baudis, Holger Moch and Niko Beerenwinkel
    Bioinformatics 25(21):2809-2815
  • The temporal order of genetic and pathway alterations in tumorigenesis
    Moritz Gerstung, Nicholas Eriksson, C. Jimmy Lin, Bert Vogelstein and Niko Beerenwinkelkel
    PLoS ONE 6:e27136.


Page URL: https://www.bsse.ethz.ch/cbg/software/ct-cbn.html
© 2015 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich