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Remarks on Interconnections, Modularity, and Dynamics in Systems Biology

For systems made up of interconnected components, it would be desirable to be able to deduce global behaviors through a bottom-up analysis, based on partial knowledge of the input/output behaviors of the individual components. This is particularly important in the field of systems biology, where neither internal descriptions nor complete input/output behaviors are usually available. From a systems and control theory perspective, many new theoretical problems and exciting directions for research arise. Two sources of difficulty in any modular approach are (a) impedance or "dynamic retroactivity" effects due to resource sharing, (b) feedback loops that expose modes of behavior that were "hidden" when individual subsystems had been studied in isolation, and (c) the lack of sufficient input variation. This talk, which is based on research done in collaboration with David Angeli, Murat Arcak, Domitilla Del Vecchio, and others, discusses mathematical concepts and theoretical results that address some of these issues, including the use of monotone systems theory or passive systems theory to deal with the "hidden behavior" problem and the lack of richness in input classes, and the introduction of a modeling framework to represent dynamic retroactivity effects.

The following is a list of publications on which this presentation is based:

Type of Seminar:
Public Seminar
Prof. Eduardo D. Sontag
Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA
Feb 18, 2009   17:15 /

ETH Zentrum, Gloriastr. 35, Building ETZ, Room E 6
Contact Person:

Prof. John Lygeros
No downloadable files available.
Biographical Sketch:
Eduardo Sontag received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Buenos Aires in 1972, and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Florida in 1976. His Ph.D. advisor was Rudolf E. Kalman. Sontag's major research interests include areas of systems molecular biology, control theory, bioinformatics, and learning and neural networks. Since 1977, Sontag has been with the Department of Mathematics at Rutgers University, where he is a Professor of Mathematics as well as a Member of the Graduate Faculties of the Department of Computer Science and of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is also the director of SYCON, the Rutgers Center for Systems and Control, and is a co-founder and a member of the Advisory Committee of the BioMaPS Institute for Quantitative Biology. He is in the Editorial Board of IET Systems Biology, SIAM Review, Synthetic and Systems Biology, International Journal of Biological Sciences, Nonlinear Analysis: Hybrid Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics and Systems Theory, and the Journal of Computer and Systems Sciences, and is a co-founder and co-Managing Editor of Mathematics of Control, Signals, and Systems. Sontag is an IEEE Fellow, and was awarded the Reid Prize (SIAM) in 2001, the Bode Prize (IEEE) in 2002, and the 2002 Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research and the 2005 Teacher/Scholar Award from Rutgers.