Apply for funding
for this workshop

Identifiability problems in systems biology

August 19 to August 23, 2019

at the

American Institute of Mathematics, San Jose, California

organized by

Marisa Eisenberg and Nicolette Meshkat

This workshop, sponsored by AIM and the NSF, will be devoted to identifiability problems in systems biology. Identifiability is the problem of determining which unknown parameters of a mathematical model can be determined from known input-output data (i.e. from particular variables which are measured/observed). In the structural identifiability problem, data is assumed to be perfect, i.e. noise-free and of any time duration required. Structural identifiability is a necessary condition for the numerical or "practical" identifiability problem, which is the parameter estimation problem for real and often noisy data. A lack of appreciation of parameter identifiability and uncertainty has been pointed to on numerous occasions as hindering the progress of mathematical modeling in biology.

We hope to address identifiability problems in both the theoretical and application-driven side of mathematical modelling. We anticipate that this work will lead to new collaborations, formulation of scientific questions as precise mathematical problems, and the introduction and sharing of new algebraic and analytic techniques to address inference challenges in mathematical biology. Among the problems we may consider are the following:

  • Algorithms & Computation
    • Symbolic computation issues and the global identifiability problem
    • Efficient algorithms to test local identifiability
  • Identifiable Combinations & Geometric Structure
    • Parameter space reduction and identifiable reparametrizations of unidentifiable models
    • Computing identifiable combinations of parameters in unidentifiable models
  • Applications in Practice
    • The numerical identifiability problem and parameter estimation
    • Examining the consequences of unidentifiability on control strategies and predictions made from models in practice
Finally, we will synthesize the above problems to identify several key conjectures, problems, and open questions in the area of identifiability analysis of dynamic systems models. These problems will be both mathematical questions, as well as application-focused questions.

The workshop will differ from typical conferences in some regards. Participants will be invited to suggest open problems and questions before the workshop begins, and these will be posted on the workshop website. These include specific problems on which there is hope of making some progress during the workshop, as well as more ambitious problems which may influence the future activity of the field. Lectures at the workshop will be focused on familiarizing the participants with the background material leading up to specific problems, and the schedule will include discussion and parallel working sessions.

Space and funding is available for a few more participants. If you would like to participate, please apply by filling out the on-line form no later than February 19, 2019. Applications are open to all, and we especially encourage women, underrepresented minorities, junior mathematicians, and researchers from primarily undergraduate institutions to apply.

Before submitting an application, please read the description of the AIM style of workshop.

For more information email workshops@aimath.org


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