Improving BDD-based attractor detection for synchronous Boolean networks

  • Qixia YuanEmail author
  • Hongyang Qu
  • Jun Pang
  • Andrzej Mizera
Research Paper


Boolean networks are an important formalism for modelling biological systems and have attracted much attention in recent years. An important challenge in Boolean networks is to exhaustively find attractors, which represent steady states of a biological network. In this paper, we propose a new approach to improve the efficiency of BDD-based attractor detection. Our approach includes a monolithic algorithm for small networks, an enumerative strategy to deal with large networks, a method to accelerate attractor detection based on an analysis of the network structure, and two heuristics on ordering BDD variables. We demonstrate the performance of our approach on a number of examples and on a realistic model of apoptosis in hepatocytes. We compare it with one existing technique in the literature.


Boolean networks systems biology binary decision diagram attractor verification algorithms 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qixia Yuan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hongyang Qu
    • 2
  • Jun Pang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Andrzej Mizera
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Science, Technology and CommunicationUniversity of LuxembourgLuxembourgLuxembourg
  2. 2.Department of Automatic Control & Systems EngineeringUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  3. 3.Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and TrustUniversity of LuxembourgLuxembourgLuxembourg

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