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Modelling biological systems with delays in Bio-PEPA

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

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of MeCBIC 2010
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameElectronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science
ISSN (Electronic)2075-2180


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 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 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. These semantics of the algebra are 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. Furthermore we outline how to perform stochastic simulation of Bio-PEPAd systems and how to automatically translate a Bio-PEPAd system into a set of Delay Differential Equations, the deterministic framework for modeling of biological systems with delays. We end the paper with two example models of biological systems with delays to illustrate the approach.

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