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A compositional framework for Boolean networks

Lookup NU author(s): Hanadi Alkhudhayr, Dr Jason Steggles



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Boolean networks are a widely used qualitative approach for modelling and analysing biological systems. However, their application is restricted by the well–-known state space explosion problem which means that modelling large-scale, realistic biological systems is challenging. In this paper we set out to facilitate the construction and analysis of large scale biological models by developing a formal framework for the composition of Boolean networks. The compositional approach we present is based on merging entities between Boolean networks using a binary Boolean operator and we formalise the preservation of behaviour under composition using a notion of compatibility. We investigate characterising compatibility in terms of the composed models by developing a trace alignment property. In particular, we use a formalisation of the interference that can occur in a composed model to define an extended trace alignment property that we show completely characterises compatibility.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alkhudhayr H, Steggles J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BioSystems

Year: 2019

Volume: 186

Print publication date: 01/12/2019

Online publication date: 22/04/2019

Acceptance date: 08/04/2019

Date deposited: 12/06/2019

ISSN (print): 0303-2647

ISSN (electronic): 1872-8324

Publisher: Elsevier Ireland Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2019.04.004


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