Minghan Chen, Layne T. Watson, Clifford Shaffer


Parameter estimation in discrete or continuous deterministic cell cycle models is challenging for several reasons, including the nature of what can be observed, and the accuracy and quantity of those observations. The challenge is even greater for stochastic models, where the number of simulations and amount of empirical data must be even larger to obtain statistically valid parameter estimates. The two main contributions of this work are (1) stochastic model parameter estimation based on directly matching multivariate probability distributions, and (2) a new quasi-Newton algorithm class QNSTOP for stochastic optimization problems. QNSTOP directly uses the random objective function value samples rather than creating ensemble statistics. QNSTOP is used here to directly match empirical and simulated joint probability distributions rather than matching summary statistics. Results are given for a current state-of-the-art stochastic cell cycle model of budding yeast, whose predictions match well some summary statistics and one-dimensional distributions from empirical data, but do not match well the empirical joint distributions. The nature of the mismatch provides insight into the weakness in the stochastic model.


Minghan Chen

Layne T. Watson

Publication Details

Date of publication:
November 14, 2017
IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
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Minghan Chen, Brandon D. Amos, Layne T. Watson, John J. Tyson, Young Cao, Clifford A. Shaffer, Michael W. Trosset, Cihan Oguz, Gisella Kakoti: Quasi-Newton Stochastic Optimization Algorithm for Parameter Estimation of a Stochastic Model of the Budding Yeast Cell Cycle. IEEE ACM Trans. Comput. Biol. Bioinform. 16(1): 301-311 (2019)