On the Interpretation of Delays in Delay Stochastic Simulation of Biological Systems

Roberto Barbuti, Giulio Caravagna, Paolo Milazzo, Andrea Maggiolo-Schettini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Delays in biological systems may be used to model events for which the underlying dynamics cannot be precisely observed. Mathematical modeling of biological systems with delays is usually based on Delay Differential Equations (DDEs), a kind of differential equations in which the derivative of the unknown function at a certain time is given in terms of the values of the function at previous times. In the literature, delay stochastic simulation algorithms have been proposed. These algorithms follow a "delay as duration" approach, namely they are based on an interpretation of a delay as the elapsing time between the start and the termination of a chemical reaction. This interpretation is not suitable for some classes of biological systems in which species involved in a delayed interaction can be involved at the same time in other interactions. We show on a DDE model of tumor growth that the delay as duration approach for stochastic simulation is not precise, and we propose a simulation algorithm based on a ``purely delayed'' interpretation of delays which provides better results on the considered model.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings Second International Workshop on Computational Models for Cell Processes
EditorsRalph-Johan Back, Ion Petre, Erik P. de Vink
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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