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Title: A Novel Method to Verify Multilevel Computational Models of Biological Systems Using Multiscale Spatio-Temporal Meta Model Checking
Authors: Pârvu, O
Gilbert, D
Keywords: Simulation and modeling;Mules;Cell cycle and cell division;Inflammation;Xenopus;Ontologies
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: PLOS ONE, 11(5): pp. 1-43, (2016)
Abstract: Insights gained from multilevel computational models of biological systems can be translated into real-life applications only if the model correctness has been verified first. One of the most frequently employed in silico techniques for computational model verification is model checking. Traditional model checking approaches only consider the evolution of numeric values, such as concentrations, over time and are appropriate for computational models of small scale systems (e.g. intracellular networks). However for gaining a systems level understanding of how biological organisms function it is essential to consider more complex large scale biological systems (e.g. organs). Verifying computational models of such systems requires capturing both how numeric values and properties of (emergent) spatial structures (e.g. area of multicellular population) change over time and across multiple levels of organization, which are not considered by existing model checking approaches. To address this limitation we have developed a novel approximate probabilistic multiscale spatio-temporal meta model checking methodology for verifying multilevel computational models relative to specifications describing the desired/expected system behaviour. The methodology is generic and supports computational models encoded using various high-level modelling formalisms because it is defined relative to time series data and not the models used to generate it. In addition, the methodology can be automatically adapted to case study specific types of spatial structures and properties using the spatio-temporal meta model checking concept. To automate the computational model verification process we have implemented the model checking approach in the software tool Mule ( Its applicability is illustrated against four systems biology computational models previously published in the literature encoding the rat cardiovascular system dynamics, the uterine contractions of labour, the Xenopus laevis cell cycle and the acute inflammation of the gut and lung. Our methodology and software will enable computational biologists to efficiently develop reliable multilevel computational models of biological systems.
ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:Dept of Computer Science Research Papers

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