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Methods Mol Biol. 2013;1021:107-25. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-450-0_6.

From a biological hypothesis to the construction of a mathematical model.

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Institut Curie, Paris, France.


Mathematical models serve to explain complex biological phenomena and provide predictions that can be tested experimentally. They can provide plausible scenarios of a complex biological behavior when intuition is not sufficient anymore. The process from a biological hypothesis to a mathematical model might be challenging for biologists that are not familiar with mathematical modeling. In this chapter we discuss a possible workflow that describes the steps to be taken starting from a biological hypothesis on a biochemical cellular mechanism to the construction of a mathematical model using the appropriate formalism. An important part of this workflow is formalization of biological knowledge, which can be facilitated by existing tools and standards developed by the systems biology community. This chapter aims at introducing modeling to experts in molecular biology that would like to convert their hypotheses into mathematical models.

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