Journal of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 61–86

Graph-theoretic methods for the analysis of chemical and biochemical networks. I. Multistability and oscillations in ordinary differential equation models


DOI: 10.1007/s00285-007-0099-1

Cite this article as:
Mincheva, M. & Roussel, M.R. J. Math. Biol. (2007) 55: 61. doi:10.1007/s00285-007-0099-1


A chemical mechanism is a model of a chemical reaction network consisting of a set of elementary reactions that express how molecules react with each other. In classical mass-action kinetics, a mechanism implies a set of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) which govern the time evolution of the concentrations. In this article, ODE models of chemical kinetics that have the potential for multiple positive equilibria or oscillations are studied. We begin by considering some methods of stability analysis based on the digraph of the Jacobian matrix. We then prove two theorems originally given by A. N. Ivanova which correlate the bifurcation structure of a mass-action model to the properties of a bipartite graph with nodes representing chemical species and reactions. We provide several examples of the application of these theorems.


Chemical reactionsGraphMultistabilityOscillations

Mathematics Subject Classification (2000)


Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA