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PLoS Comput Biol. 2016 Oct 28;12(10):e1005153. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005153. eCollection 2016 Oct.

Structural Identifiability of Dynamic Systems Biology Models.

Author information

1
Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
2
Department of Systems & Control Engineering, University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain.

Abstract

A powerful way of gaining insight into biological systems is by creating a nonlinear differential equation model, which usually contains many unknown parameters. Such a model is called structurally identifiable if it is possible to determine the values of its parameters from measurements of the model outputs. Structural identifiability is a prerequisite for parameter estimation, and should be assessed before exploiting a model. However, this analysis is seldom performed due to the high computational cost involved in the necessary symbolic calculations, which quickly becomes prohibitive as the problem size increases. In this paper we show how to analyse the structural identifiability of a very general class of nonlinear models by extending methods originally developed for studying observability. We present results about models whose identifiability had not been previously determined, report unidentifiabilities that had not been found before, and show how to modify those unidentifiable models to make them identifiable. This method helps prevent problems caused by lack of identifiability analysis, which can compromise the success of tasks such as experiment design, parameter estimation, and model-based optimization. The procedure is called STRIKE-GOLDD (STRuctural Identifiability taKen as Extended-Generalized Observability with Lie Derivatives and Decomposition), and it is implemented in a MATLAB toolbox which is available as open source software. The broad applicability of this approach facilitates the analysis of the increasingly complex models used in systems biology and other areas.

PMID:
27792726
PMCID:
PMC5085250
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005153
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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