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Front Physiol. 2018 May 29;9:586. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00586. eCollection 2018.

Analysis Tools for Interconnected Boolean Networks With Biological Applications.

Author information

1
Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée, Université Côte d'Azur, Valbonne, France.
2
MaIAGE, INRA, Université Paris-Saclay, Jouy-en-Josas, France.

Abstract

Boolean networks with asynchronous updates are a class of logical models particularly well adapted to describe the dynamics of biological networks with uncertain measures. The state space of these models can be described by an asynchronous state transition graph, which represents all the possible exits from every single state, and gives a global image of all the possible trajectories of the system. In addition, the asynchronous state transition graph can be associated with an absorbing Markov chain, further providing a semi-quantitative framework where it becomes possible to compute probabilities for the different trajectories. For large networks, however, such direct analyses become computationally untractable, given the exponential dimension of the graph. Exploiting the general modularity of biological systems, we have introduced the novel concept of asymptotic graph, computed as an interconnection of several asynchronous transition graphs and recovering all asymptotic behaviors of a large interconnected system from the behavior of its smaller modules. From a modeling point of view, the interconnection of networks is very useful to address for instance the interplay between known biological modules and to test different hypotheses on the nature of their mutual regulatory links. This paper develops two new features of this general methodology: a quantitative dimension is added to the asymptotic graph, through the computation of relative probabilities for each final attractor and a companion cross-graph is introduced to complement the method on a theoretical point of view.

KEYWORDS:

asynchronous Boolean networks; attractor computation; biological regulatory networks; module interconnection; state transition graph

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