Elston–Stewart algorithm

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The Elston–Stewart algorithm is an algorithm for computing the likelihood of observed genotype data given a pedigree. It is due to Robert Elston and John Stewart. It can handle relatively large pedigrees providing they are (almost) outbred. Its computation time is exponential in the number of markers. It is used in the analysis of genetic linkage.


  • Elston, R. C., Stewart, J. (1970) "A new test of association for continuous variables", Biometrics, 26, 305–314
  • Elston, R. C., Stewart, J. (1971) "A general model for the genetic analysis of pedigree data". Hum Hered., 21, 523–542
  • Mantel, N., Elston, R.C. (1971) "Supplements to the Elston-Stewart Test of Association", Biometrics, 27, (2), 460–462
  • Elston R.C., George V.T., Severtson F. (1992) "The Elston-Stewart algorithm for continuous genotypes and environmental factors", Hum Hered., 42(1), 16–27.
  • Stewart J. (1992) "Genetics and Biology: A Comment on the Significance of the Elston-Stewart Algorithm", Hum Hered., 42, 9–15 doi:10.1159/000154042