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Research Project: DELMS

  Discrete event life science modelling and simulation

Keywords:
Systems Biology, Discrete-Event Modeling and Simulation, Multi-Level Modeling and Simulation

  Research Project Information
Runtime: Sep 30, 2002 until Mar 31, 2005
Scientific coordination: Dr. rer. nat. Daniela Degenring; Dipl. Inf. Mathias Röhl

The goal of systems biology is to reveal the dynamic mechanisms that support life The most common modeling and simulation approach in natural and engineering sciences is to use differential equations. Researchers interested in the dynamics of cellular systems feel comfortable with the well known formalism. A problem of modeling with differential equations is that systems proceed not necessarily continuously and deterministically. The latter can be addressed by introducing stochastics into the model, whereas the former calls for qualitative and discrete modeling formalisms. Continuous modeling is often accompanied by a macro perception of the system. Differential equations are used to define the rate of change of state variables, like concentrations. If we turn from a macro level toward a multi-level perception, individuals, subsystems, and their interactions become the focus of interest. A discrete approach does not necessarily imply a more abstract view on the system than continuous models do. If we move from macro to micro and multi-level modeling, individuals, subsystems, and their interactions, which have been only implicitly represented, become an explicit part of the model and the focus of interest. Single enzymes and their interactions are modeled. To start exploring discrete event phenomena within metabolite channeling we choose the tryptophan synthase. Based on a continuous macro model a discrete event, multi-level model has been developed in James which allows to analyze the interrelation between structural and functional characteristics of the enzymes.