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Journal Articles Journal of Computational Geometry Year : 2023

Geometric algorithms for sampling the flux space of metabolic networks


Metabolic networks and their reconstruction set a new era in the analysis of metabolic and growth functions in the various organisms. By modeling the reactions occurring inside an organism, metabolic networks provide the means to understand the underlying mechanisms that govern biological systems. Constraint-based approaches have been widely used for the analysis of such models and led to intriguing geometry-oriented challenges. In this setting, sampling uniformly points from polytopes derived from metabolic models (flux sampling) provides a representation of the solution space of the model under various conditions. However, the polytopes that result from such models are of high dimension (in the order of thousands) and usually considerably skinny. Therefore, to sample uniformly at random from such polytopes shouts for a novel algorithmic and computational framework specially tailored for the properties of metabolic models. We present a complete software framework to handle sampling in metabolic networks. Its backbone is a Multiphase Monte Carlo Sampling (MMCS) algorithm that unifies rounding and sampling in one pass, yielding both upon termination. It exploits an optimized variant of the Billiard Walk that enjoys faster arithmetic complexity per step than the original. We demonstrate the efficiency of our approach by performing extensive experiments on various metabolic networks. Notably, sampling on the most complicated human metabolic network accessible today, Recon3D, corresponding to a polytope of dimension $5\,335$, took less than $30$ hours. To the best of our knowledge, that is out of reach for existing software.
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Dates and versions

hal-04310109 , version 1 (28-11-2023)





Apostolos Chalkis, Ioannis Z. Emiris, Vissarion Fisikopoulos, Elias Tsigaridas, Haris Zafeiropoulos. Geometric algorithms for sampling the flux space of metabolic networks. Journal of Computational Geometry, 2023, 14 (1), ⟨10.20382/jocg.v14i1a8⟩. ⟨hal-04310109⟩
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