Abstract: Deterministic mathematical models of biochemical processes operate as if the empirically derived rate constants governing the dynamics are known with certainty. Our objective in this study was to explore the sensitivity of a deterministic model of blood coagulation to variations in the values of its 44 rate constants. This was accomplished for each rate constant at a given time by defining a normalized ensemble standard deviation that accounted for the sensitivity of the predicted concentration of each protein species to variation in that rate constant (from 10 to 1000% of the accepted value). A mean coefficient of variation derived from the normalized ensemble standard deviation values for all protein species was defined to quantify the overall variation introduced into the model's predictive capacity at that time by the assumed uncertainty in that rate constant. A time-average value of the coefficient of variation over the 20-min simulation for each rate constant was then used to rank rate constants. The model's predictive capacity is particularly sensitive (50% of the aggregate variation) to uncertainty in five rate constants involved in the regulation of the formation and function of the factor VIIa–tissue factor complex. Therefore, our analysis has identified specific rate constants to which the predictive capability of this model is most sensitive and thus where improvements in measurement accuracy will yield the greatest increase in predictive capability.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).