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Validation and invalidation of systems biology models using robustness analysis

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2 Author(s)
D. G. Bates ; College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK ; C. Cosentino

Robustness, the ability of a system to function correctly in the presence of both internal and external uncertainty, has emerged as a key organising principle in many biological systems. Biological robustness has thus become a major focus of research in Systems Biology, particularly on the engineering-biology interface, since the concept of robustness was first rigorously defined in the context of engineering control systems. This review focuses on one particularly important aspect of robustness in Systems Biology, that is, the use of robustness analysis methods for the validation or invalidation of models of biological systems. With the explosive growth in quantitative modelling brought about by Systems Biology, the problem of validating, invalidating and discriminating between competing models of a biological system has become an increasingly important one. In this review, the authors provide a comprehensive overview of the tools and methods that are available for this task, and illustrate the wide range of biological systems to which this approach has been successfully applied.

Published in:

IET Systems Biology  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 4 )