Asynchronous systems analysis of cellular processes

15 December 2006

David Dill
Department of Computer Science
Stanford University


To the extent that cellular processes can be modeled "digitally", with signals taking on values from a small discrete set of possibilities, they would not work like most human-designed sequential digital systems, which synchronize at every step using a global clock. Instead, they would be asynchronous systems, which coordinate much more loosely.

There has been a lot of work on the design and analysis of asynchronous digital circuits. Although it hasn't had a huge impact on system design, some of this work could be more relevant to the analysis of the operation of biological networks.

This talk will be about two specific applications of these ideas: Modeling and analysis of signal transduction networks using Petri nets as part of SRI International's Pathway Logic project, and the use of formal verification techniques to analyze other asynchronous behavior in a cell.

current theory lunch schedule