BioPreDyn-bench: a suite of benchmark problems for dynamic modelling in systems biology

Alejandro F Villaverde, David Henriques, Kieran Smallbone, Sophia Bongard, Joachim Schmid, Damjan Cicin-Sain, Anton Crombach, Julio Saez-Rodriguez, Klaus Mauch, Eva Balsa-Canto, Pedro Mendes, Johannes Jaeger, Julio R Banga

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    Background Dynamic modelling is one of the cornerstones of systems biology. Many research efforts are currently being invested in the development and exploitation of large-scale kinetic models. The associated problems of parameter estimation (model calibration) and optimal experimental design are particularly challenging. The community has already developed many methods and software packages which aim to facilitate these tasks. However, there is a lack of suitable benchmark problems which allow a fair and systematic evaluation and comparison of these contributions. Results Here we present BioPreDyn-bench, a set of challenging parameter estimation problems which aspire to serve as reference test cases in this area. This set comprises six problems including medium and large-scale kinetic models of the bacterium E. coli, baker’s yeast S. cerevisiae, the vinegar fly D. melanogaster, Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, and a generic signal transduction network. The level of description includes metabolism, transcription, signal transduction, and development. For each problem we provide (i) a basic description and formulation, (ii) implementations ready-to-run in several formats, (iii) computational results obtained with specific solvers, (iv) a basic analysis and interpretation. Conclusions This suite of benchmark problems can be readily used to evaluate and compare parameter estimation methods. Further, it can also be used to build test problems for sensitivity and identifiability analysis, model reduction and optimal experimental design methods. The suite, including codes and documentation, can be freely downloaded from the BioPreDyn-bench website,
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8
    Number of pages15
    JournalB M C Systems Biology
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Dynamic modelling
    • Model calibration
    • Parameter estimation
    • Optimization
    • Benchmarks
    • Large-scale
    • Metabolism
    • Transcription
    • Signal transduction
    • development


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