Exact stochastic simulation of coupled chemical reactions with delays

Xiaodong Cai
March 2007
Journal of Chemical Physics;3/28/2007, Vol. 126 Issue 12, p124108
Academic Journal
Gillespie’s exact stochastic simulation algorithm (SSA) [J. Phys. Chem. 81, 2350 (1977)] has been widely used to simulate the stochastic dynamics of chemically reacting systems. In this algorithm, it is assumed that all reactions occur instantly. While this is true in many cases, it is also possible that some chemical reactions, such as gene transcription and translation in living cells, take certain time to finish after they are initiated. Thus, the product of such reactions will emerge after certain delays. Apparently, Gillespie’s SSA is not an exact algorithm for chemical reaction systems with delays. In this paper, the author develops an exact SSA for chemical reaction systems with delays, based upon the same fundamental premise of stochastic kinetics used by Gillespie in the development of his SSA. He then shows that an algorithm modified from Gillespie’s SSA by Barrio et al. [PLOS Comput. Biol. 2, 1017 (2006)] is also an exact SSA for chemical reaction systems with delays, but it needs to generate more random variables than the author’s algorithm.


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