Binomial leap methods for simulating stochastic chemical kinetics

Tianhai Tian, Kevin Burrage

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236 Citations (Scopus)


his paper discusses efficient simulation methods for stochastic chemical kinetics. Based on the tau-leap and midpoint tau-leap methods of Gillespie [D. T. Gillespie, J. Chem. Phys. 115, 1716 (2001)], binomial random variables are used in these leap methods rather than Poisson random variables. The motivation for this approach is to improve the efficiency of the Poisson leap methods by using larger stepsizes. Unlike Poisson random variables whose range of sample values is from zero to infinity, binomial random variables have a finite range of sample values. This probabilistic property has been used to restrict possible reaction numbers and to avoid negative molecular numbers in stochastic simulations when larger stepsize is used. In this approach a binomial random variable is defined for a single reaction channel in order to keep the reaction number of this channel below the numbers of molecules that undergo this reaction channel. A sampling technique is also designed for the total reaction number of a reactant species that undergoes two or more reaction channels. Samples for the total reaction number are not greater than the molecular number of this species. In addition, probability properties of the binomial random variables provide stepsize conditions for restricting reaction numbers in a chosen time interval. These stepsize conditions are important properties of robust leap control strategies. Numerical results indicate that the proposed binomial leap methods can be applied to a wide range of chemical reaction systems with very good accuracy and significant improvement on efficiency over existing approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10356 - 10364
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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