Thursday, May 23, 2013

1109.0807 (Reinhard Heckel et al.)

Harmonic Analysis of Boolean Networks: Determinative Power and

Reinhard Heckel, Steffen Schober, Martin Bossert
Consider a large Boolean network with a feed forward structure. Given a probability distribution on the inputs, can one find, possibly small, collections of input nodes that determine the states of most other nodes in the network? To answer this question, a notion that quantifies the determinative power of an input over the states of the nodes in the network is needed. We argue that the mutual information (MI) between a given subset of the inputs X = {X_1, ..., X_n} of some node i and its associated function f_i(X) quantifies the determinative power of this set of inputs over node i. We compare the determinative power of a set of inputs to the sensitivity to perturbations to these inputs, and find that, maybe surprisingly, an input that has large sensitivity to perturbations does not necessarily have large determinative power. However, for unate functions, which play an important role in genetic regulatory networks, we find a direct relation between MI and sensitivity to perturbations. As an application of our results, we analyze the large-scale regulatory network of Escherichia coli. We identify the most determinative nodes and show that a small subset of those reduces the overall uncertainty of the network state significantly. Furthermore, the network is found to be tolerant to perturbations of its inputs.
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