# Are there different amounts of "fuzziness" in the endpoints when doing pairwise 1-1 comparisons among three people at GEDmatch?

I was performing a triangulation at GEDmatch and obtained the following start and end points for the triangulated segment on Chromosome 1 for each comparison:

Person A with Person B: 19,899,991 to 35,145,961

Person A with Person C: 29,909,642 to 36,528,222

Person B with Person C: 29,812,459 to 40,717,609

It is clear from the total shared cM that none of these people is closely related to any other, so these are definitely half-matches on these segments. I infer then that there is a single chromosome segment that each of these people has an identical copy of going from

29,909,642 to 35,145,961

Now it would seem to me that the shared segment between A and C continuing to the right of this to position 36,528,222 and the longer segment shared between B and C continuing on to 40,717,609 really must be a match on that same chromosome -- it would be too unbelievable that the match had just switched over from one of the two chromosomes to the other and matched up perfectly. So it seems reasonable to infer that if it were possible to splice these three segments together to form one large segment from

19,899,991 to 40,717,619,

then the shared common ancestor who gave rise to these segments would have a copy of this long segment on one of his/her chromosomes. Even though the ends of this segment were not triangulated, the fact that they are contiguous with the triangulated segment inherited from the common ancestor makes it very, very likely that they also descended from the same ancestor. Is that a reasonable deduction? (The rest of what I write makes this assumption.)

It is not possible to tell exactly which chunk of this long segment A got by a single comparison with either B or C, but you should be able to figure it out from the two comparisons together. However, in this example, I seem to run into a paradox:

From the A to B comparsion, either A or B must have only a piece of the inherited segment ending at 35,145,961. Looking at the A to C comparison, which has endpoint 36,528,222 significantly farther along the segment, it would seem to be B who has the segment that stops at 35,145,961. But looking at the B to C comparison, it would seem that person B got a piece of the ancestral segment continuing at least as far 40,717,619, the conclusion from the previous sentence.

So I am confused. Can this be resolved by saying that 36,528,222 is not actually significantly farther than 35,145,961? That there was a different amount of fuzziness in the right endpoint when doing the A to B and A to C comparisons? 1.4 million positions to me seems like it would be more than fuzz, but perhaps not? If that really is a significant difference, what else can account for the comparison data above?

• Of course another explanation occurs to me two minutes after I write the long post. I suppose the additional 1.4 million positions in common between A and C could be IBC -- A really has the ancestral segment cut off at 35,145,961, but whatever segment recombined in just to the right of it or else the corresponding segment on the opposite chromosome happens to match the ancestor's segment a little farther along. Is that a more likely explanation here than fuzziness? Sep 1, 2018 at 23:00

So what you've got is this:

You are correct that there is a single segment, represented by the dark blue segment in the diagram, between 30 and 35 Mbp (Mega base pairs) that is the triangulating region and may have been passed down to all three of them from a common ancestor.

And you are correct that it will extend into the light blue segments.

But no, the entire region from 20 Mbp to 40 Mbp may not have come from the common ancestor of all three of these people. If two of the people, say Person A and Person B, have a more recent common ancestor, that ancestor may have had a crossover that lost some of the original common ancestor's segment. It could only happen on one side, since only Person A or Person C can share the more recent common ancestor with Person B. Here's the example:

So in that example, only the region between 28 Mbp and 40 Mbp comes from the Common Ancestor of A, B and C. The region between 20 Mbp and 28 Mbp is from the shared ancestor of A and B who C doesn't share with.