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BMC Bioinformatics

, 9:S17

First Online: 28 May 2008


BackgroundThis article provides guidelines for selecting optimal numerical solvers for biomolecular system models. Because various parameters of the same system could have drastically different ranges from 10 to 10, the ODEs can be stiff and ill-conditioned, resulting in non-unique, non-existing, or non-reproducible modeling solutions. Previous studies have not examined in depth how to best select numerical solvers for biomolecular system models, which makes it difficult to experimentally validate the modeling results. To address this problem, we have chosen one of the well-known stiff initial value problems with limit cycle behavior as a test-bed system model. Solving this model, we have illustrated that different answers may result from different numerical solvers. We use MATLAB numerical solvers because they are optimized and widely used by the modeling community. We have also conducted a systematic study of numerical solver performances by using qualitative and quantitative measures such as convergence, accuracy, and computational cost i.e. in terms of function evaluation, partial derivative, LU decomposition, and -take-off- points. The results show that the modeling solutions can be drastically different using different numerical solvers. Thus, it is important to intelligently select numerical solvers when solving biomolecular system models.

ResultsThe classic Belousov-Zhabotinskii BZ reaction is described by the Oregonator model and is used as a case study. We report two guidelines in selecting optimal numerical solvers for stiff, complex oscillatory systems: i for problems with unknown parameters, ode45 is the optimal choice regardless of the relative error tolerance; ii for known stiff problems, both ode113 and ode15s are good choices under strict relative tolerance conditions.

ConclusionsFor any given biomolecular model, by building a library of numerical solvers with quantitative performance assessment metric, we show that it is possible to improve reliability of the analytical modeling, which in turn can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of experimental validations of these models. Also, our study can be extended to study a variety of molecular-level system models for human disease diagnosis and therapeutic treatment.

List of abbreviationsBZBelousov-Zhabotinskii

LCLimit cycle


RETRelaxed relative error tolerance

SETStrict relative error tolerance

ODEOrdinary differential equation.

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Autor: Chang F Quo - May D Wang

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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