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Comments on Dynamic Systems Biology Modeling and Simulation by Joseph DiStefano III

By: , Posted on: March 31, 2014

F. Eugene Yates comments on Dynamic Systems Biology Modeling and Simulation by Joseph DiStefano III.

This very satisfying book has multiple strengths. The text has marvelous clarity, as do the mathematical demonstrations. All are synoptic, while simultaneously  explaining the underlying, fine details. The useful organization is enhanced by superb graphics. Although  the author has many technical capabilities, with both range and depth, below I’ll give just one illustrative example of the excellent result.

Major themes of modern computation and  modeling, as applied to biology, include  issues of fractals, nonlinearities, chaotic dynamics, emergent properties, and instabilities. For example,consider the problems attendant on complex dynamic systems with multiple scales of time and space so typical of living systems.  The scientific literature in this domain is rich and immense. When I looked into DiStefano’s  book for entries dealing with these topics, I found  as early as  Chapter One a heading: ”Multiscale Modeling”. Elsewhere were other treatments of these aspects of complexity and modeling difficulties such as the famous problem of “stiff ODEs”, here brilliantly examined and explained, with remedies. The many  authoritative tutorials by DiStefano amazed me for so effectively distilling the technical essences. They confirm that DiStefano is a great teacher and guide through various  profound, classical difficulties. This book is a masterwork.

From the Publisher

Dynamic Systems Biology Modeling and SimulationDynamic Systems Biology Modeling and Simulation consolidates and unifies classical and contemporary multiscale methodologies for mathematical modeling and computer simulation of dynamic biological systems – from molecular/cellular, organ-system, on up to population levels. The book pedagogy is developed as a well-annotated, systematic tutorial – with clearly spelled-out and unified nomenclature – derived from the author’s own modeling efforts, publications and teaching over half a century. Ambiguities in some concepts and tools are clarified and others are rendered more accessible and practical.  The latter include novel qualitative theory and methodologies for recognizing dynamical signatures in data using structural (multicompartmental and network) models and graph theory; and analyzing structural and measurement (data) models for quantification feasibility. The level is basic-to-intermediate, with much emphasis on biomodeling from real biodata, for use in real applications.

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Life Sciences

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