Design and analysis of feedback structures in chemical plants and biochemical systems
Sammanfattning: This thesis deals with modelling, analysis, and design of interactions between subsystems in chemical process plants and intracellular biochemical processes. In the first part, the focus is on the selection of decentralized feedback control structures for plants in the chemical process industry, with the aim of achieving a desired performance in the presence of interactions. The second part focuses on modelling and analysis of complex biochemical networks, with the aim of unravelling the impact of interactions between genes, proteins, and metabolites on cell functions.Decentralized control is almost the de-facto standard for control of large-scale systems, and in particular for systems in the process industry. An important task in the design of a decentralized control system is the selection of the control configuration, the so-called input-output pairing, which effectively decides the subsystems. Previous research addressing this problem has primarily focused on the effect of interactions on stability. In this thesis, the problem of selecting control configurations that can deliver a desired control performance is addressed. It is shown that existing measures of interactions, such as the relative gain array (RGA), are poor for selecting configurations for performance due to their inherent assumption of perfect control. Furthermore, several model based tools for the selection of control configurations based on performance considerations are proposed.Central functions in the cell are often linked to complex dynamic behaviors, such as sustained oscillations and multistability, in a biochemical reaction network. Determination of the specific interactions underlying such behaviors is important, for example, to determine sensitivity, robustness, and modelling requirements of given cell functions. A method for identifying the feedback connections and involved subsystems, within a biochemical network, that are the main sources of a complex dynamic behavior is proposed. The effectiveness of the method is illustrated on examples involving cell cycle control, circadian rhythms and glycolytic oscillations. Also, a method for identifying structured dynamic models of biochemical networks, based on experimental data, is proposed. The method is based on results from system identification theory, using time-series measurement data of expression profiles and concentrations of the involved biochemical components. Finally, in order to reduce the complexity of obtained network models, a method for decomposing large-scale networks into biologically meaningful subnetworks is proposed.
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