Xiong, Hao (2008-12). Constrained expectation-maximization (EM), dynamic analysis, linear quadratic tracking, and nonlinear constrained expectation-maximation (EM) for the analysis of genetic regulatory networks and signal transduction networks. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Despite the immense progress made by molecular biology in cataloging andcharacterizing molecular elements of life and the success in genome sequencing, therehave not been comparable advances in the functional study of complex phenotypes.This is because isolated study of one molecule, or one gene, at a time is not enough byitself to characterize the complex interactions in organism and to explain the functionsthat arise out of these interactions. Mathematical modeling of biological systems isone way to meet the challenge.My research formulates the modeling of gene regulation as a control problem andapplies systems and control theory to the identification, analysis, and optimal controlof genetic regulatory networks. The major contribution of my work includes biologicallyconstrained estimation, dynamical analysis, and optimal control of genetic networks.In addition, parameter estimation of nonlinear models of biological networksis also studied, as a parameter estimation problem of a general nonlinear dynamicalsystem. Results demonstrate the superior predictive power of biologically constrainedstate-space models, and that genetic networks can have differential dynamic propertieswhen subjected to different environmental perturbations. Application of optimalcontrol demonstrates feasibility of regulating gene expression levels. In the difficultproblem of parameter estimation, generalized EM algorithm is deployed, and a set of explicit formula based on extended Kalman filter is derived. Application of themethod to synthetic and real world data shows promising results.

publication date

  • December 2008