The notion of a compartment is discussed in terms of the Markovian process. From the stochastic matrix (the elements of which are state transition probabilities between different states of a particle of a chemical element), one may find a (generally) nonstochastic matrix; the elements of this second matrix are probabilities that, starting from some initial state, the particle will reach another seleced state (W. Feller, 1962,An Introduction to Probability Theory). Forming equivalence classes of states it can be shown that the equivalence classes based on an equivalence relation, which holds for the elements of the above-mentioned nonstochastic matrix, are essential for the notion of a compartment. From this procedure it is also obvious that a rigorous definition of a physically realizable compartment is impossible. Some conclusions on the practical use of compartmental analysis are drawn.
KeywordsEquivalence Class Chemical Element Biophysics VOLUMe Stochastic Matrix State Transition Probability
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Feller, W. 1962.An Introduction to Probability Theory and Its Applications, Vol. I, second edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Google Scholar