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Title: Computational model validation using a novel multiscale multidimensional spatio-temporal meta model checking approach
Author: Ovidiu, Parvu
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 9777
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2016
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Computational models of complex biological systems can provide a better understanding of how living systems function but need to be validated before they are employed for real-life (e.g. clinical) applications. One of the most frequently employed in silico approaches for validating such models is model checking. Traditional model checking approaches are limited to uniscale non-spatial computational models because they do not explicitly distinguish between different scales, and do not take properties of (emergent) spatial structures (e.g. density of multicellular population) into account. This thesis defines a novel multiscale multidimensional spatio-temporal meta model checking methodology which enables validating multiscale (spatial) computational models of biological systems relative to how both numeric (e.g. concentrations) and spatial system properties are expected to change over time and across multiple scales. The methodology has two important advantages. First it supports computational models encoded using various high-level modelling formalisms because it is defined relative to time series data and not the models used to produce them. Secondly the methodology is generic because it can be automatically reconfigured according to case study specific types of spatial structures and properties using the meta model checking approach. In addition the methodology could be employed for multiple domains of science, but we illustrate its applicability here only against biological case studies. To automate the computational model validation process, the approach was implemented in software tools, which are made freely available online. Their efficacy is illustrated against two uniscale and four multiscale quantitative computational models encoding phase variation in bacterial colonies and the chemotactic aggregation of cells, respectively the rat cardiovascular system dynamics, the uterine contractions of labour, the Xenopus laevis cell cycle and the acute inflammation of the gut and lung. This novel model checking approach will enable the efficient construction of reliable multiscale computational models of complex systems.
Supervisor: Gilbert, D. ; Saunders, N. Sponsor: Brunel University London
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Multiscale computational models ; Spatio-temporal models ; Systems biology ; Computational biology ; Formal methods