Date of Award:

7-1-2014

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Computer Science

Advisor/Chair:

Nicholas Flann

Abstract

There is a huge demand for analysis and visualization of the biological models. PathwayPioneer is a web-based tool to analyze and visually represent complex biological models. PathwayPioneer generates the initial layout of the model and allows users to customize it. It is developed using .net technologies (C#) and hosted on the Internet Information Service (IIS) server. At back-end it interacts with python-based COBRApy library for biological calculations like Flux Balance Analysis (FBA). We have developed a parallel processing architecture to accommodate processing of large models and enable message-based communication between the .net webserver and python engine. We compared the performance of our online system by loading a website with multiple concurrent dummy users and performed different time intensive operations in parallel.

Given two metabolites of interest, millions of pathways can be found between them even in a small metabolic network. Depth First Search or Breadth First search algorithm retrieves all the possible pathways, thereby requiring huge computational time and resources. In Pathway Search using Informed Method, we have implemented, compared, and analyzed three different informed search techniques (Selected Subsystem, Selected Compartment, and Dynamic Search) and traditional exhaustive search technique. We found that the Dynamic approach performs exceedingly well with respect to time and total number of pathways searches. During our implementation we developed a SBML parser which outperforms the commercial libSBML parser in C#.

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