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Stabilisation for biological systems

Byron Cook ( Microsoft Research )

I will describe an efficient procedure for proving stabilization of biological systems modeled as qualitative networks. For scalability, our procedure uses modular proof techniques, where state-space exploration is applied only locally to small pieces of the system rather than the entire system as a whole. Our procedure exploits the observation that, in practice, the form of modular proofs required can be restricted to a very limited set. Using our new procedure, we have solved a number of challenging published examples, including a 3-D model of the mammalian epidermis, a model of metabolic networks operating in type-2 diabetes, and a model of fate determination of vulval precursor cells in the C. elegans worm. Our results show many orders of magnitude speedup in cases where previous stabilization proving techniques were known to succeed, and new results in cases where tools had previously failed.

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