An improved algorithm for flux variability analysis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Flux balance analysis (FBA) is an optimization based approach to find the optimal steady state of a metabolic network, commonly of microorganisms such as yeast strains and Escherichia coli. However, the resulting solution from an FBA is typically not unique, as the optimization problem is, more often than not, degenerate. Flux variability analysis (FVA) is a method to determine the range of possible reaction fluxes that still satisfy, within some optimality factor, the original FBA problem. The resulting range of reaction fluxes can be utilized to determine metabolic reactions of high importance, amongst other analyses. In the literature, this has been done by solving [Formula: see text] linear programs (LPs), with n being the number of reactions in the metabolic network. However, FVA can be solved with less than [Formula: see text] LPs by utilizing the basic feasible solution property of bounded LPs to reduce the number of LPs that are needed to be solved. In this work, a new algorithm is proposed to solve FVA that requires less than [Formula: see text] LPs. The proposed algorithm is benchmarked on a problem set of 112 metabolic network models ranging from single cell organisms (iMM904, ect) to a human metabolic system (Recon3D). Showing a reduction in the number of LPs required to solve the FVA problem and thus the time to solve an FVA problem.

published proceedings

  • BMC Bioinformatics

author list (cited authors)

  • Kenefake, D., Armingol, E., Lewis, N. E., & Pistikopoulos, E. N.

complete list of authors

  • Kenefake, Dustin||Armingol, Erick||Lewis, Nathan E||Pistikopoulos, Efstratios N

publication date

  • December 2022