Reachability, persistence, and constructive chemical reaction networks (part I): reachability approach to the persistence of chemical reaction networks

  • Gilles GnacadjaEmail author
Original Paper


For a chemical reaction network, persistence is the property that no species tend to extinction if all species are initially present. We investigate the stronger property of vacuous persistence: the same asymptotic feature with a weaker requirement on initial states, namely that all species be implicitly present. By implicitly present, we mean for instance that if only water is present and the reaction network incorporates the information that water is made of hydrogen and oxygen, then hydrogen and oxygen are implicitly present. Persistence is inherently interesting and has implications for the global asymptotic stability of equilibrium states. Our main tools are the work of A. I. Vol’pert on the nullity and positivity of species concentrations, and the enabling notion of reachability. The main result states that a reaction network is vacuously persistent if and only if the set of all species is the only set of species that both is closed with respect to reachability and causes the implicit presence of all species. This paper is the first in a series of three articles. Two sequel papers introduce additional formalisms and use them to describe two large classes of reaction networks that are used as models in biochemistry and are vacuously persistent.


Chemical reaction network Vacuous persistence Reachability A. I. Vol’pert 

Mathematics Subject Classification (2010)

92C42 92C45 34D05 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research and Development Information SystemsAmgen, Inc.Thousand OaksUSA

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