Bio-PEPAd: A non-Markovian extension of Bio-PEPA

Giulio Caravagna, Jane Hillston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Delays in biological systems may be used to model events for which the underlying dynamics cannot be precisely observed, or to provide abstraction of some behavior of the system resulting in more compact models. In this paper, we enrich the stochastic process algebra Bio-PEPA, with the possibility of assigning delays to actions, yielding a new non-Markovian stochastic process algebra: Bio-PEPAd. This is a conservative extension meaning that the original syntax of Bio-PEPA is retained and the delay specification which can now be associated with actions may be added to existing Bio-PEPA models. The semantics of the firing of the actions with delays is the delay-as-duration approach, earlier presented in papers on the stochastic simulation of biological systems with delays. This semantics of the algebra is given in the Starting–Terminating style, meaning that the state and the completion of an action are observed as two separate events, as required by delays. We formally define the encoding of Bio-PEPAd systems in Generalized Semi-Markov Processes (GSMPs), as input for a Delay Stochastic Simulation Algorithm (DSSA) and as sets of Delay Differential Equations (DDEs), the deterministic framework for modeling of biological systems with delays. Finally, we prove theorems stating the relation between Bio-PEPA and Bio-PEPAd models. We end the paper with an example model of biological systems with delays to illustrate the approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-49
Number of pages24
JournalTheoretical Computer Science
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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