Relating Attractors and Singular Steady States in the Logical Analysis of Bioregulatory Networks
In 1973 R. Thomas introduced a logical approach to modeling and analysis of bioregulatory networks. Given a set of Boolean functions describing the regulatory interactions, a state transition graph is constructed that captures the dynamics of the system. In the late eighties, Snoussi and Thomas extended the original framework by including singular values corresponding to interaction thresholds. They showed that these are needed for a refined understanding of the network dynamics. In this paper, we study systematically singular steady states, which are characteristic of feedback circuits in the interaction graph, and relate them to the type, number and cardinality of attractors in the state transition graph. In particular, we derive sufficient conditions for regulatory networks to exhibit multistationarity or oscillatory behavior, thus giving a partial converse to the well-known Thomas conjectures.
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