A structural classification of candidate oscillators and multistationary systems

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Franco BlanchiniGiulia Giordano


Molecular systems are uncertain: the variability of reaction parameters and the presence of unknown interactions can weaken the predictive capacity of solid mathematical models. However, strong conclusions on the admissible dynamic behaviors of a model can often be achieved without detailed knowledge of its specific parameters. In particular, starting with Thomas' conjectures, loop–based criteria have been largely used to characterize oscillatory and multistationary dynamic outcomes in systems with a sign definite Jacobian. We build on the rich literature focused on the identification of potential oscillatory and multistationary behaviors based on parameter–free criteria. We propose a classification for sign–definite non autocatalytic biological networks which summarize several existing results in the literature, adding new results when necessary. We define candidate oscillators and multistationary systems based on their admissible transitions to instability. We introduce four categories: strong/weak candidate oscillatory/multistationary systems, which correspond to networks in which all/some of the existing feedback loops are negative/positive. We provide necessary and sufficient conditions characterizing strong and weak cand...Continue Reading

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