Quantitative Model Refinement in Four Different Frameworks, with Applications to the Heat Shock Response

Diana-Elena Gratie*, Bogdan Iancu, Sepinoud Azimi, Ion Petre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/Journal/ReportCommissioned reportProfessional


When compiling a biological model, one often starts with an abstract representation,
that is subsequently refined through several consecutive steps to incorporate
more details regarding various reactants and/or reactions. To avoid the computationally
expensive refitting of the model after each refinement step, the new
parameters should be set so that the numerical behavior of the initial model is
preserved. The iterative process of adding details to a model while preserving its
numerical behavior is called quantitative model refinement, and it has been previously
discussed for ODE-based models and for kappa-based models. In this
paper, we investigate and compare this approach in four modeling frameworks:
ordinary differential equations, rule-based modeling, Petri nets and guarded command
languages. As case study we use a model for the eukaryotic heat shock
response that we refine to include the acetylation of one molecule. We discuss
how to perform the refinement in each of these frameworks in order to avoid the
combinatorial state explosion of the refined model. We conclude that Bionetgen
(and rule-based modeling in general) is well-suited for a compact representation
of the refined model, Petri nets offer a good solution through the use of colors,
while the PRISM refined model may be much larger than the basic model.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTurku Centre for Computer Science
Number of pages48
ISBN (Print)978-952-12-2622-9
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

NameTUCS Technical Report
ISSN (Print)1239-1891


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