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An abstraction theory for qualitative models of biological systems

Lookup NU author(s): Richard Banks, Dr Jason Steggles


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Multi-valued networks are an important qualitative modelling approach used widely by the biological community. In this paper we consider developing an abstraction theory for multi-valued networks that allows the state space of a model to be reduced while preserving key properties of the model. This is important as it aids the analysis and comparison of multi-valued networks and in particular, helps address the well-known problem of state space explosion associated with such analysis. We consider developing techniques for efficiently identifying abstractions and so provide a basis for the automation of the abstraction task. We illustrate the theoretical results and techniques developed by considering two detailed case studies based on existing biological models in the literature: (1) the regulation of tryptophan biosynthesis in Escherichia coli; and (2) the lysis–lysogeny switch in the bacteriophage λ.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Banks R, Steggles LJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Theoretical Computer Science

Year: 2012

Volume: 431

Pages: 207-218

Print publication date: 24/12/2011

ISSN (print): 0304-3975

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.tcs.2011.12.061


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