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On the Mathematical Structure of Balanced Chemical Reaction Networks Governed by Mass Action Kinetics

By Shodhan Rao, Arjan van der Schaft and Bayu Jayawardhana


Motivated by recent progress on the interplay between graph theory, dynamics, and systems theory, we revisit the analysis of chemical reaction networks described by mass action kinetics. For reaction networks possessing a thermodynamic equilibrium we derive a compact formulation exhibiting at the same time the structure of the complex graph and the stoichiometry of the network, and which admits a direct thermodynamical interpretation. This formulation allows us to easily characterize the set of positive equilibria and their stability properties. Furthermore, we develop a framework for interconnection of chemical reaction networks, and we discuss how the formulation leads to a new approach for model reduction.

Year: 2013
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