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A novel cost function to estimate parameters of oscillatory biochemical systems

EURASIP Journal on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1687-4153-2012-3
  • Research
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Medicine


Oscillatory pathways are among the most important classes of biochemical systems with examples ranging from circadian rhythms and cell cycle maintenance. Mathematical modeling of these highly interconnected biochemical networks is needed to meet numerous objectives such as investigating, predicting and controlling the dynamics of these systems. Identifying the kinetic rate parameters is essential for fully modeling these and other biological processes. These kinetic parameters, however, are not usually available from measurements and most of them have to be estimated by parameter fitting techniques. One of the issues with estimating kinetic parameters in oscillatory systems is the irregularities in the least square (LS) cost function surface used to estimate these parameters, which is caused by the periodicity of the measurements. These irregularities result in numerous local minima, which limit the performance of even some of the most robust global optimization algorithms. We proposed a parameter estimation framework to address these issues that integrates temporal information with periodic information embedded in the measurements used to estimate these parameters. This periodic information is used to build a proposed cost function with better surface properties leading to fewer local minima and better performance of global optimization algorithms. We verified for three oscillatory biochemical systems that our proposed cost function results in an increased ability to estimate accurate kinetic parameters as compared to the traditional LS cost function. We combine this cost function with an improved noise removal approach that leverages periodic characteristics embedded in the measurements to effectively reduce noise. The results provide strong evidence on the efficacy of this noise removal approach over the previous commonly used wavelet hard-thresholding noise removal methods. This proposed optimization framework results in more accurate kinetic parameters that will eventually lead to biochemical models that are more precise, predictable, and controllable.

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