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Section: New Results

Highlight: Pauline Traynard Best Student Paper Prize at CMSB 2014, for Trace Simplifications preserving Temporal Logic Formulae with Case Study in a Coupled Model of the Cell Cycle and the Circadian Clock

Participants : François Fages, Sylvain Soliman, Pauline Traynard.

Pauline Traynard was very pleased to receive the Best Student Paper Prize of the twelth International Conference on Computational Methods for Systems Biology, 17-19 November 2014, Univ. of Manchester, UK, for a communication on trace simplifications preserving temporal logic properties [19] .

Calibrating dynamical models on experimental data time series is a central task in computational systems biology. When numerical values for model parameters can be found to fit the data, the model can be used to make predictions, whereas the absence of any good fit may suggest to revisit the structure of the model and gain new insights in the biology of the system. Temporal logic provides a formal framework to deal with imprecise data and specify a wide variety of dynamical behaviors. It can be used to extract information from numerical traces coming from either experimental data or model simulations, and to specify the expected behaviors for model calibration. The computation time of the different methods depends on the number of points in the trace so the question of trace simplification is important to improve their performance. In [19] we study this problem and provide a series of trace simplifications which are correct to perform for some common temporal logic formulae. We give some general soundness theorems, and apply this approach to period and phase constraints on the circadian clock and the cell cycle. In this application, temporal logic patterns are used to compute the relevant characteristics of the experimental traces, and to measure the adequacy of the model to its specification on simulation traces. Speed-ups by several orders of magnitude are obtained by trace simplification even when produced by smart numerical integration methods.