An integrative top-down and bottom-up qualitative model construction framework for exploration of biochemical systems

Zujian Wu, Wei Pang, George M Coghill

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Computational modelling of biochemical systems based on top-down and bottom-up approaches has been well studied over the last decade. In this research, after illustrating how to generate atomic components by a set of given reactants and two user pre-defined component patterns, we propose an integrative top-down and bottom-up modelling approach for stepwise qualitative exploration of interactions among reactants in biochemical systems. Evolution strategy is applied to the top-down modelling approach to compose models, and simulated annealing is employed in the bottom-up modelling approach to explore potential interactions based on models constructed from the top-down modelling process. Both the top-down and bottom-up approaches support stepwise modular addition or subtraction for the model evolution. Experimental results indicate that our modelling approach is feasible to learn the relationships among biochemical reactants qualitatively. In addition, hidden reactants of the target biochemical system can be obtained by generating complex reactants in corresponding composed models. Moreover, qualitatively learned models with inferred reactants and alternative topologies can be used for further web-lab experimental investigations by biologists of interest, which may result in a better understanding of the system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1595-1610
Number of pages16
JournalSoft Computing
Early online date30 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to thank the support on this research by the CRISP project (Combinatorial Responses In Stress Pathways) funded by the BBSRC (BB/F00513X/1) under the Systems Approaches to Biological Research (SABR) Initiative.


  • evolution strategy
  • simulated annealing
  • qualitative model learning
  • top down and bottom-up modelling
  • systems biology


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