Experiment design through dynamical characterisation of non-linear systems biology models utilising sparse grids.
ABSTRACT The sparse grid-based experiment design algorithm sequentially selects an experimental design point to discriminate between hypotheses for given experimental conditions. Sparse grids efficiently screen the global uncertain parameter space to identify acceptable parameter subspaces. Clustering the located acceptable parameter vectors by the similarity of the simulated model trajectories characterises the data-compatible model dynamics. The experiment design algorithm capitalizes on the diversity of the experimentally distinguishable system output dynamics to select the design point that best discerns between competing model-structure and parameter-encoded hypotheses. As opposed to designing the experiments to explicitly reduce uncertainty in the model parameters, this approach selects design points to differentiate between dynamical behaviours. This approach further differs from other experimental design methods in that it simultaneously addresses both parameter- and structural-based uncertainty that is applicable to some ill-posed problems where the number of uncertain parameters exceeds the amount of data, places very few requirements on the model type, available data and a priori parameter estimates, and is performed over the global uncertain parameter space. The experiment design algorithm is demonstrated on a mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade model. The results show that system dynamics are highly uncertain with limited experimental data. Nevertheless, the algorithm requires only three additional experimental data points to simultaneously discriminate between possible model structures and acceptable parameter values. This sparse grid-based experiment design process provides a systematic and computationally efficient exploration over the entire uncertain parameter space of potential model structures to resolve the uncertainty in the non-linear systems biology model dynamics.