Algebraic models in systems biology

Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - 11:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 255
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and Department of Mathematics, Virginia Tech
Since John von Neumann introduced cellular automata in the 1950s to study self-replicating systems, algebraic models of different kinds have increased in popularity in network modeling in systems biology. Their common features are that the interactions between network nodes are described by "rules" and that the nodes themselves typically take on only finitely many states, resulting in a time-discrete dynamical system with a finite state space. Some advantages of such qualitative models are that they are typically intuitive, can accommodate noisy data, and require less information about a variety of kinetic and other parameters than differential equations models. Yet they can capture essential network features in many cases. This talk will discuss examples of different types of algebraic models of molecular networks and a common conceptual framework for their analysis.