On the robustness of update schedules in Boolean networks

J. Aracena, E. Goles, A. Moreira, L. Salinas

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84 Scopus citations


Deterministic Boolean networks have been used as models of gene regulation and other biological networks. One key element in these models is the update schedule, which indicates the order in which states are to be updated. We study the robustness of the dynamical behavior of a Boolean network with respect to different update schedules (synchronous, block-sequential, sequential), which can provide modelers with a better understanding of the consequences of changes in this aspect of the model. For a given Boolean network, we define equivalence classes of update schedules with the same dynamical behavior, introducing a labeled graph which helps to understand the dependence of the dynamics with respect to the update, and to identify interactions whose timing may be crucial for the presence of a particular attractor of the system. Several other results on the robustness of update schedules and of dynamical cycles with respect to update schedules are presented. Finally, we prove that our equivalence classes generalize those found in sequential dynamical systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Attractor
  • Boolean network
  • Dynamical cycle
  • Robustness
  • Update schedule


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