An Efficient Steady-State Analysis Method for Large Boolean Networks with High Maximum Node Connectivity

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Boolean networks have been widely used to model biological processes lacking detailed kinetic information. Despite their simplicity, Boolean network dynamics can still capture some important features of biological systems such as stable cell phenotypes represented by steady states. For small models, steady states can be determined through exhaustive enumeration of all state transitions. As the number of nodes increases, however, the state space grows exponentially thus making it difficult to find steady states. Over the last several decades, many studies have addressed how to handle such a state space explosion. Recently, increasing attention has been paid to a satisfiability solving algorithm due to its potential scalability to handle large networks. Meanwhile, there still lies a problem in the case of large models with high maximum node connectivity where the satisfiability solving algorithm is known to be computationally intractable. To address the problem, this paper presents a new partitioning-based method that breaks down a given network into smaller subnetworks. Steady states of each subnetworks are identified by independently applying the satisfiability solving algorithm. Then, they are combined to construct the steady states of the overall network. To efficiently apply the satisfiability solving algorithm to each subnetwork, it is crucial to find the best partition of the network. In this paper, we propose a method that divides each subnetwork to be smallest in size and lowest in maximum node connectivity. This minimizes the total cost of finding all steady states in entire subnetworks. The proposed algorithm is compared with others for steady states identification through a number of simulations on both published small models and randomly generated large models with differing maximum node connectivities. The simulation results show that our method can scale up to several hundreds of nodes even for Boolean networks with high maximum node connectivity. The algorithm is implemented and available at to ckhong/tools/download/PAD.tar.gz
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PLOS ONE, v.10, no.12

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BiS-Journal Papers(저널논문)CS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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