Power Laws, Scale-Free Networks and Genome Biology

Part of the series Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit pp 206-225

The Role of Computation in Complex Regulatory Networks

  • Pau FernándezAffiliated withICREA-Complex Systems Lab, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (GRIB)
  • , Ricard V. SoléAffiliated withICREA-Complex Systems Lab, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (GRIB)Santa Fe Institute Email author 

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Biological phenomena differ significantly from physical phenomena. At the heart of this distinction is the fact that biological entities have computational abilities and thus they are inherently difficult to predict. This is the reason why simplified models that provide the minimal requirements for computation turn out to be very useful to study networks of many components. In this chapter, we briefly review the dynamical aspects of models of regulatory networks, discussing their most salient features, and we also show how these models can give clues about the way in which networks may organize their capacity to evolve, by providing simple examples of the implementation of robustness and modularity.