SMT-based analysis of biological computation

Boyan Yordanov, Christoph M. Wintersteiger, Youssef Hamadi, Hillel Kugler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Synthetic biology focuses on the re-engineering of living organisms for useful purposes while DNA computing targets the construction of therapeutics and computational circuits directly from DNA strands. The complexity of biological systems is a major engineering challenge and their modeling relies on a number of diverse formalisms. Moreover, many applications are "mission- critical" (e.g. as recognized by NASA's Synthetic Biology Initiative) and require robustness which is difficult to obtain. The ability to formally specify desired behavior and perform automated computational analysis of system models can help address these challenges, but today there are no unifying scalable analysis frameworks capable of dealing with this complexity. In this work, we study pertinent problems and modeling formalisms for DNA computing and synthetic biology and describe how they can be formalized and encoded to allow analysis using Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT). This work highlights biological engineering as a domain that can benefit extensively from the application of formal methods. It provides a step towards the use of such methods in computational design frameworks for biology and is part of a more general effort towards the formalization of biology and the study of biological computation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNASA Formal Methods - 5th International Symposium, NFM 2013, Proceedings
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event5th International Symposium on NASA Formal Methods, NFM 2013 - Moffett Field, CA, United States
Duration: 14 May 201316 May 2013

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume7871 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference5th International Symposium on NASA Formal Methods, NFM 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMoffett Field, CA


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