Publications about 'algorithms'
Articles in journal or book chapters
  1. Z. An, M.A. Al-Radhawi, W. Cho, and E.D. Sontag. Inferring causal connections through embedded physics-informed neural networks (ePINNs): An application to synthetic biology resource competition. 2023. Note: In preparation.
    Biological systems have been widely studied as complex dynamic systems that evolve with time in response to the internal resources abundance and external perturbations due to their common features. Integration of systems and synthetic biology provides a consolidated framework that draws system-level connections among biology, mathematics, engineering, and computer sciences. One major problem in current synthetic biology research is designing and controlling the synthetic circuits to perform reliable and robust behaviors as they utilize common transcription and translational resources among the circuits and host cells. While cellular resources are often limited, this results in a competition for resources by different genes and circuits, which affect the behaviors of synthetic genetic circuits. The manner competition impacts behavior depends on the “bottleneck” resource. With knowledge of physics laws and underlying mechanisms, the dynamical behaviors of the synthetic circuits can be described by the first principle models, usually represented by a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). In this work, we develop the novel embedded PINN (ePINN), which is composed of two nested loss-sharing neural networks to target and improve the unknown dynamics prediction from quantitative time series data. We apply the ePINN approach to identify the mathematical structures of competition phenotypes. Firstly, we use the PINNs approach to infer the model parameters and hidden dynamics from partially known data (including a lack of understanding of the reaction mechanisms or missing experimental data). Secondly, we test how well the algorithms can distinguish and extract the unknown dynamics from noisy data. Thirdly, we study how the synthetic and competing circuits behave in various cases when different particles become a limited resource.

  2. L. Cui, Z.P. Jiang, and E. D. Sontag. Small-disturbance input-to-state stability of perturbed gradient flows: Applications to LQR problem. 2023. Note: Submitted. Preprint in arXiv [PDF]
    This paper studies the effect of perturbations on the gradient flow of a general constrained nonlinear programming problem, where the perturbation may arise from inaccurate gradient estimation in the setting of data-driven optimization. Under suitable conditions on the objective function, the perturbed gradient flow is shown to be small-disturbance input-to-state stable (ISS), which implies that, in the presence of a small-enough perturbation, the trajectory of the perturbed gradient flow must eventually enter a small neighborhood of the optimum. This work was motivated by the question of robustness of direct methods for the linear quadratic regulator problem, and specifically the analysis of the effect of perturbations caused by gradient estimation or round-off errors in policy optimization. Interestingly, we show small-disturbance ISS for three of the most common optimization algorithms: standard gradient flow, natural gradient flow, and Newton gradient flow.

  3. S. Wang, E.D. Sontag, and D.A. Lauffenburger. What cannot be seen correctly in 2D visualizations of single-cell 'omics data?. Cell Systems, 14:723-731, 2023. [WWW] [PDF] Keyword(s): visualization, single-cell data, tSNE, UMAP.
    Single-cell -omics datasets are high-dimensional and difficult to visualize. A common strategy for exploring such data is to create and analyze 2D projections. Such projections may be highly nonlinear, and implementation algorithms are designed with the goal of preserving aspects of the original high-dimensional shape of data such as neighborhood relationships or metrics. However, important aspects of high-dimensional geometry are known from mathematical theory to have no equivalent representation in 2D, or are subject to large distortions, and will therefore be misrepresented or even invisible in any possible 2D representation. We show that features such as quantitative distances, relative positioning, and qualitative neighborhoods of high-dimensional data points will always be misrepresented in 2D projections. Our results rely upon concepts from differential geometry, combinatorial geometry, and algebraic topology. As an illustrative example, we show that even a simple single-cell RNA sequencing dataset will always be distorted, no matter what 2D projection is employed. We also discuss how certain recently developed computational tools can help describe the high-dimensional geometric features that will be necessarily missing from any possible 2D projections.

  4. E.D. Sontag. Remarks on input to state stability of perturbed gradient flows, motivated by model-free feedback control learning. Systems and Control Letters, 161:105138, 2022. [PDF] Keyword(s): iss, input to state stability, data-driven control, gradient systems, steepest descent, model-free control.
    Recent work on data-driven control and reinforcement learning has renewed interest in a relatively old field in control theory: model-free optimal control approaches which work directly with a cost function and do not rely upon perfect knowledge of a system model. Instead, an "oracle" returns an estimate of the cost associated to, for example, a proposed linear feedback law to solve a linear-quadratic regulator problem. This estimate, and an estimate of the gradient of the cost, might be obtained by performing experiments on the physical system being controlled. This motivates in turn the analysis of steepest descent algorithms and their associated gradient differential equations. This paper studies the effect of errors in the estimation of the gradient, framed in the language of input to state stability, where the input represents a perturbation from the true gradient. Since one needs to study systems evolving on proper open subsets of Euclidean space, a self-contained review of input to state stability definitions and theorems for systems that evolve on such sets is included. The results are then applied to the study of noisy gradient systems, as well as the associated steepest descent algorithms.

  5. T. Kang, J.T. White, Z. Xie, Y. Benenson, E.D. Sontag, and L. Bleris. Reverse engineering validation using a benchmark synthetic gene circuit in human cells. ACS Synthetic Biology, 2:255-262, 2013. [PDF] Keyword(s): reverse engineering, systems biology, synthetic biology.
    This work introduces an experimental platform customized for the development and verification of reverse engineering and pathway characterization algorithms in mammalian cells. Specifically, we stably integrate a synthetic gene network in human kidney cells and use it as a benchmark for validating reverse engineering methodologies. The network, which is orthogonal to endogenous cellular signaling, contains a small set of regulatory interactions that can be used to quantify the reconstruction performance. By performing successive perturbations to each modular component of the network and comparing protein and RNA measurements, we study the conditions under which we can reliably reconstruct the causal relationships of the integrated synthetic network.

  6. R. Albert, B. Dasgupta, and E.D. Sontag. Inference of signal transduction networks from double causal evidence. In David Feny, editor, Computational Biology, Methods in Molecular Biology vol. 673, pages 239-251. Springer, 2010. [PDF] Keyword(s): systems biology, biochemical networks, algorithms, signal transduction networks, graph algorithms.
    We present a novel computational method, and related software, to synthesize signal transduction networks from single and double causal evidence.

  7. E.D. Sontag and D. Zeilberger. A symbolic computation approach to a problem involving multivariate Poisson distributions. Advances in Applied Mathematics, 44:359-377, 2010. Note: There are a few typos in the published version. Please see this file for corrections: [PDF] Keyword(s): probability theory, stochastic systems, systems biology, biochemical networks, chemical master equation.
    Multivariate Poisson random variables subject to linear integer constraints arise in several application areas, such as queuing and biomolecular networks. This note shows how to compute conditional statistics in this context, by employing WZ Theory and associated algorithms. A symbolic computation package has been developed and is made freely available. A discussion of motivating biomolecular problems is also provided.

  8. R. Albert, B. Dasgupta, R. Dondi, and E.D. Sontag. Inferring (biological) signal transduction networks via transitive reductions of directed graphs. Algorithmica, 51:129-159, 2008. [PDF] [doi:10.1007/s00453-007-9055-0] Keyword(s): systems biology, biochemical networks, algorithms, signal transduction networks, graph algorithms.
    The transitive reduction problem is that of inferring a sparsest possible biological signal transduction network consistent with a set of experimental observations, with a goal to minimize false positive inferences even if risking false negatives. This paper provides computational complexity results as well as approximation algorithms with guaranteed performance.

  9. S. Kachalo, R. Zhang, E.D. Sontag, R. Albert, and B. Dasgupta. NET-SYNTHESIS: A software for synthesis, inference and simplification of signal transduction networks. Bioinformatics, 24:293 - 295, 2008. [PDF] Keyword(s): systems biology, biochemical networks, algorithms, signal transduction networks, graph algorithms.
    This paper presents a software tool for inference and simplification of signal transduction networks. The method relies on the representation of observed indirect causal relationships as network paths, using techniques from combinatorial optimization to find the sparsest graph consistent with all experimental observations. We illustrate the biological usability of our software by applying it to a previously published signal transduction network and by using it to synthesize and simplify a novel network corresponding to activation-induced cell death in large granular lymphocyte leukemia.

  10. R. Albert, B. DasGupta, R. Dondi, S. Kachalo, E.D. Sontag, A. Zelikovsky, and K. Westbrooks. A novel method for signal transduction network inference from indirect experimental evidence. In R. Giancarlo and S. Hannenhalli, editors, 7th Workshop on Algorithms in Bioinformatics (WABI), volume 14, pages 407-419. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2007. Note: Conference version of journal paper with same title. Keyword(s): systems biology, biochemical networks, algorithms, signal transduction networks, graph algorithms.

  11. R. Albert, B. DasGupta, R. Dondi, S. Kachalo, E.D. Sontag, A. Zelikovsky, and K. Westbrooks. A novel method for signal transduction network inference from indirect experimental evidence. Journal of Computational Biology, 14:927-949, 2007. [PDF] Keyword(s): systems biology, biochemical networks, algorithms, signal transduction networks, graph algorithms.
    This paper introduces a new method of combined synthesis and inference of biological signal transduction networks. The main idea lies in representing observed causal relationships as network paths, and using techniques from combinatorial optimization to find the sparsest graph consistent with all experimental observations. The paper formalizes the approach, studies its computational complexity, proves new results for exact and approximate solutions of the computationally hard transitive reduction substep of the approach, validates the biological applicability by applying it to a previously published signal transduction network by Li et al., and shows that the algorithm for the transitive reduction substep performs well on graphs with a structure similar to those observed in transcriptional regulatory and signal transduction networks.

  12. P. Berman, B. Dasgupta, and E.D. Sontag. Algorithmic issues in reverse engineering of protein and gene networks via the modular response analysis method. Annals of the NY Academy of Sciences, 1115:132-141, 2007. [PDF] Keyword(s): systems biology, biochemical networks, gene and protein networks, reverse engineering, systems identification, graph algorithms.
    This paper studies a computational problem motivated by the modular response analysis method for reverse engineering of protein and gene networks. This set-cover problem is hard to solve exactly for large networks, but efficient approximation algorithms are given and their complexity is analyzed.

  13. P. Berman, B. Dasgupta, and E.D. Sontag. Randomized approximation algorithms for set multicover problems with applications to reverse engineering of protein and gene networks. Discrete Applied Mathematics Special Series on Computational Molecular Biology, 155:733-749, 2007. [PDF] Keyword(s): systems biology, biochemical networks, gene and protein networks, systems identification, reverse engineering.
    This paper investigates computational complexity aspects of a combinatorial problem that arises in the reverse engineering of protein and gene networks, showing relations to an appropriate set multicover problem with large "coverage" factor, and providing a non-trivial analysis of a simple randomized polynomial-time approximation algorithm for the problem.

  14. B. DasGupta, G.A. Enciso, E.D. Sontag, and Y. Zhang. Algorithmic and complexity aspects of decompositions of biological networks into monotone subsystems. BioSystems, 90:161-178, 2007. [PDF] Keyword(s): monotone systems, systems biology, biochemical networks.
    A useful approach to the mathematical analysis of large-scale biological networks is based upon their decompositions into monotone dynamical systems. This paper deals with two computational problems associated to finding decompositions which are optimal in an appropriate sense. In graph-theoretic language, the problems can be recast in terms of maximal sign-consistent subgraphs. The theoretical results include polynomial-time approximation algorithms as well as constant-ratio inapproximability results. One of the algorithms, which has a worst-case guarantee of 87.9% from optimality, is based on the semidefinite programming relaxation approach of Goemans-Williamson. The algorithm was implemented and tested on a Drosophila segmentation network and an Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor pathway model.

  15. B. DasGupta, J.P. Hespanha, J. Riehl, and E.D. Sontag. Honey-pot constrained searching with local sensory information. Nonlinear Analysis, 65:1773-1793, 2006. [PDF] Keyword(s): search problems, algorithms, computational complexity.
    This paper investigates the problem of searching for a hidden target in a bounded region of the plane by an autonomous robot which is only able to use limited local sensory information. It proposes an aggregation-based approach to solve this problem, in which the continuous search space is partitioned into a finite collection of regions on which we define a discrete search problem and a solution to the original problem is obtained through a refinement procedure that lifts the discrete path into a continuous one. The resulting solution is in general not optimal but one can construct bounds to gauge the cost penalty incurred. The discrete version is formalized and an optimization problem is stated as a `reward-collecting' bounded-length path problem. NP-completeness and efficient approximation algorithms for various cases of this problem are discussed.

  16. E.D. Sontag. Realization theory of discrete-time nonlinear systems. I. The bounded case. IEEE Trans. Circuits and Systems, 26(5):342-356, 1979. [PDF] Keyword(s): discrete-time systems, nonlinear systems, realization theory, bilinear systems, state-affine systems.
    A state-space realization theory is presented for a wide class of discrete time input/output behaviors. Although In many ways restricted, this class does include as particular cases those treated in the literature (linear, multilinear, internally bilinear, homogeneous), as well as certain nonanalytic nonlinearities. The theory is conceptually simple, and matrix-theoretic algorithms are straightforward. Finite-realizability of these behaviors by state-affine systems is shown to be equivalent both to the existence of high-order input/output equations and to realizability by more general types of systems.

Conference articles
  1. A. C. B. de Oliveira, M. Siami, and E. D. Sontag. Regularising numerical extremals along singular arcs: a Lie-theoretic approach. In , 2023. Note: Submitted.Keyword(s): optimal control, nonlinear control, Lie algebras, robotics.
    Numerical ``direct'' approaches to time-optimal control often fail to find solutions that are singular in the sense of the Pontryagin Maximum Principle. These approaches behave better when searching for saturated (bang-bang) solutions. In previous work by one of the authors, singular solutions were theoretically shown to exist for the time-optimal problem for two-link manipulators under hard torque constraints. The theoretical results gave explicit formulas, based on Lie theory, for singular segments of trajectories, but the global structure of solutions remains unknown. In this work, we show how to effectively combine these theoretically found formulas with the use of general-purpose optimal control softwares. By using the explicit formula given by theory in the intervals where the numerical solution enters a singular arcs, we not only obtain an algebraic expression for the control in that interval, but we are also able to remove artifacts present in the numerical solution. In this way, the best features of numerical algorithms and theory complement each other and provide a better picture of the global optimal structure. We showcase the technique on a 2 degrees of freedom robotic arm example, and also propose a way of extending the analyzed method to robotic arms with higher degrees of freedom through partial feedback linearization, assuming the desired task can be mostly performed by a few of the degrees of freedom of the robot and imposing some prespecified trajectory on the remaining joints.

  2. M. Sznaier, A. Olshevsky, and E.D. Sontag. The role of systems theory in control oriented learning. In Proc. 25th Int. Symp. Mathematical Theory of Networks and Systems (MTNS 2022), 2022. Note: To appear.[PDF] Keyword(s): control oriented learning, neural networks, reinforcement learning, feedback control, machine learning.
    Systems theory can play an important in unveiling fundamental limitations of learning algorithms and architectures when used to control a dynamical system, and in suggesting strategies for overcoming these limitations. As an example, a feedforward neural network cannot stabilize a double integrator using output feedback. Similarly, a recurrent NN with differentiable activation functions that stabilizes a non-strongly stabilizable system must be itself open loop unstable, a fact that has profound implications for training with noisy, finite data. A potential solution to this problem, motivated by results on stabilization with periodic control, is the use of neural nets with periodic resets, showing that indeed systems theoretic analysis is instrumental in developing architectures capable of controlling certain classes of unstable systems. This short conference paper also argues that when the goal is to learn control oriented models, the loss function should reflect closed loop, rather than open loop model performance, a fact that can be accomplished by using gap-metric motivated loss functions.

  3. B. DasGupta, J.P. Hespanha, and E.D. Sontag. Computational complexities of honey-pot searching with local sensory information. In Proceedings American Control Conf., Boston, June 2004, CD-ROM, ThA06.1, IEEE Publications, Piscataway, 2004. [PDF]
    In this paper we investigate the problem of searching for a hidden target in a bounded region of the plane, by an autonomous robot which is only able to use limited local sensory information. We formalize a discrete version of the problem as a "reward-collecting" path problem and provide efficient approximation algorithms for various cases.

Internal reports
  1. E.D. Sontag and H.J. Sussmann. Optimization algorithms for image restoration and segmentation. Technical report 34, Rutgers Center for Computer Aids for Industrial Productivity, 1987.



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Last modified: Sat Dec 2 22:29:19 2023
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