Robustness of Expressivity in Chemical Reaction Networks

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9818)


We show that some natural output conventions for error-free computation in chemical reaction networks (CRN) lead to a common level of computational expressivity. Our main results are that the standard definition of error-free CRNs have equivalent computational power to (1) asymmetric and (2) democratic CRNs. The former have only “yes” voters, with the interpretation that the CRN’s output is yes if any voters are present and no otherwise. The latter define output by majority vote among “yes” and “no” voters.

Both results are proven via a generalized framework that simultaneously captures several definitions, directly inspired by a recent Petri net result of Esparza, Ganty, Leroux, and Majumder [CONCUR 2015]. These results support the thesis that the computational expressivity of error-free CRNs is intrinsic, not sensitive to arbitrary definitional choices.



R.B. thanks Grzegorz Rozenberg for interesting and useful discussions regarding chemical reaction networks. D.D. thanks Ryan James for suggesting the democratic CRD model. The authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for comments that have helped improve the presentation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hasselt UniversityDiepenbeekBelgium
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  3. 3.University of TexasAustinUSA

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