Algorithmic and complexity results for decompositions of biological networks into monotone subsystems.

Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, United States; Mathematical Biosciences Institute, 250 Mathematics Building, 231 W 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, United States; Department of Mathematics, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, United States; Received 23 January 2006. Revised 3 August 2006. Accepted 3 August 2006. Available online 12 August 2006.
Biosystems 01/2007; 90:161-178. DOI: 10.1007/11764298_23
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT A useful approach to the mathematical analysis of large-scale biological networks is based upon their decompositions into monotone dynamical systems. This paper deals with two computational problems associated to finding decompositions which are optimal in an appropriate sense. In graph-theoretic language, the problems can be recast in terms of maximal sign-consistent subgraphs. The theoretical results include polynomial-time approximation algorithms as well as constant-ratio inapproximabil- ity results. One of the algorithms, which has a worst-case guarantee of 87.9% from optimality, is based on the semidefinite programming relaxation approach of Goemans- Williamson (23). The algorithm was implemented and tested on a Drosophila segmen- tation network and an Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor pathway model, and it was found to perform close to optimally.

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    ABSTRACT: This paper (parts I and II) provides an expository introduction to monotone and near-monotone dynamical systems associated to biochemical networks, those whose graphs are consistent or near-consistent. Many conclusions can be drawn from signed network structure, associated to purely stoichiometric information and ignoring fluxes. In particular, monotone systems respond in a predictable fashion to perturbations and have robust and ordered dynamical characteristics, making them reliable components of larger networks. Interconnections of monotone systems may be fruitfully analyzed using tools from control theory, by viewing larger systems as interconnections of monotone subsystems. This allows one to obtain precise bifurcation diagrams without appeal to explicit knowledge of fluxes or of kinetic constants and other parameters, using merely "input/output characteristics" (steady-state responses or DC gains). The procedure may be viewed as a "model reduction" approach in which monotone subsystems are viewed as essentially one-dimensional objects. The possibility of performing a decomposition into a small number of monotone components is closely tied to the question of how "near" a system is to being monotone. We argue that systems that are "near monotone" may be more biologically more desirable than systems that are far from being monotone. Indeed, there are indications that biological networks may be much closer to being monotone than random networks that have the same numbers of vertices and of positive and negative edges.
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    ABSTRACT: Monotone subsystems have appealing properties as components of larger networks, since they exhibit robust dynamical stability and predictability of responses to perturbations. This suggests that natural biological systems may have evolved to be, if not monotone, at least close to monotone in the sense of being decomposable into a "small" number of monotone components, In addition, recent research has shown that much insight can be attained from decomposing networks into monotone subsystems and the analysis of the resulting interconnections using tools from control theory. This paper provides an expository introduction to monotone systems and their interconnections, describing the basic concepts and some of the main mathematical results in a largely informal fashion.
    Systems and Synthetic Biology 05/2007; 1(2):59-87.
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we propose three different graph-theoretical decompositions of large-scale biologi-cal networks, all three aiming at highlighting specific dynamical properties of the system. The first consists in finding a maximal directed acyclic subgraph in the network, which dynamically cor-responds to searching for the maximal open-loop subsystem of the given system. The other two decompositions deal with the strong monotonicity property, and aim at decomposing the system into strongly monotone components with different structural characteristics: a single large strongly con-nected monotone subsystem in one case, and a set of smaller disjoint monotone subsystems in the other. For all three decompositions we provide original heuristic algorithms.

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