Describing metabolic networcs by conversion cones

Robert Urbanczik
Inst. of Pharmacology, University of Bern/Switzerland


An important tool in System Biology is the mathematical modeling of metabolic networks, where the stationary states of the network are described by a high dimensional polyhedral cone, the so called flux cone. Exhaustive description of the metabolism can be obtained by computing the elementary vectors of this cone but, due to a combinatorial explosion of the number of elementary vectors, this approach becomes computationally intractable for genome scale networks. Here we show that an analysis of genome scale networks becomes feasible by instead focusing on the conversion cone, a projection of the flux cone, which describes the interaction of the metabolism with its external chemical environment

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