Distinguished Lecture Series 2014: Luca Cardelli

The 2014 Distinguished Lecture Series took place on Tuesday in Lower College Hall. This year’s speaker Prof Luca Cardelli of Microsoft Research and the University of Oxford, delivered three lectures involving Morphisms of Reaction Networks that Couple Structure to Function.

Slides from the lectures are now available: http://lucacardelli.name/indexTalks.html

Luca pictured in Lower College Hall on Tuesday

Luca pictured in Lower College Hall on Tuesday

The mechanisms underlying complex biological systems are routinely represented as networks. Network kinetics is widely studied, and so is the connection between network structure and behavior. But it is the relationships between network structures that can reveal similarity of mechanism.

We define morphisms (mappings) between reaction networks that establish structural connections between them. Some morphisms imply kinetic similarity, and yet their properties can be checked statically on the structure of the networks. In particular we can determine statically that a complex network will emulate a simpler network: it will reproduce its kinetics for all corresponding choices of reaction rates and initial conditions. We use this property to relate the kinetics of many common biological networks of different sizes, also relating them to a fundamental population algorithm. Thus, structural similarity between reaction networks can be revealed by network morphisms, elucidating mechanistic and functional aspects of complex networks in terms of simpler networks.

Tuesday’s Programme:
09:15-09:30 Introduction by Prof Simon Dobson

09:39-10:30 Lecture 1 – Molecular Programming

11:00-12:00 Lecture 2 – The Cell Cycle Switch Computes Approximate Majority

13:30-14:30 Lecture 3 – Morphisms of Chemical Reaction Networks

14:30-15:30 Q & A Session

Image courtesy of Prof Saleem Bhatti

School Seminar: Complex Networks and Complex Processes

Simon Dobson, School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews


Complex networks provide a way of modelling systems with lots of
dependent elements, such as traffic networks or social networks. By
running processes over these networks we can explore how the topology of
the network affects the way the process evolves, and potentially
identify factors that accelerate or impede it. This opens-up
possibilities both for study (science) and control (engineering).

This talk will briefly introduce the mechanics of complex networks and
the processes that run on them, review some recent results we have
obtained, and look to future research programme where we will combine
simulation with sensing to give us new ways of looking at the world.

Event details

  • When: 4th November 2014 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33
  • Series: School Seminar Series
  • Format: Talk