Output selection and observer design for boolean control networks: A sub-optimal polynomial-complexity algorithm

Eyal Weiss, Michael Margaliot

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19 Scopus citations


We derive a new graph-theoretic sufficient condition for observability of a Boolean control network (BCN). We describe two algorithms that are based on this condition. The first selects a set of nodes so that observing this set makes the BCN observable. The second algorithm builds an observer for the observable BCN. Both algorithms are sub-optimal, as they are based on a sufficient but not necessary condition for observability. Yet their time-complexity is linear in the length of the description of the BCN, rendering them feasible for largescale BCNs. We discuss how these results can be used to provide a sub-optimal yet polynomial-complexity algorithm for the minimal observability problem in BCNs. Some of the theoretical results are demonstrated using BCN models of mammalian cell cycle control, and T-cell receptor kinetics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8474357
Pages (from-to)210-215
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Control Systems Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 IEEE.


Manuscript received July 19, 2018; revised September 8, 2018; accepted September 24, 2018. Date of publication September 27, 2018; date of current version October 9, 2018. This work was supported by the Research Grant from the Israel Science Foundation under Grant 410/15. Recommended by Senior Editor J. Daafouz. (Corresponding author: Michael Margaliot.) The authors are with the School of Electrical Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel (e-mail: [email protected]). Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/LCSYS.2018.2872295

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation410/15


    • Boolean control networks and logic networks
    • observers for nonlinear systems
    • systems biology.


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