Pycellerator: an arrow-based reaction-like modelling language for biological simulations

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Abstract

Motivation: We introduce Pycellerator, a Python library for reading Cellerator arrow notation from standard text files, conversion to differential equations, generating stand-alone Python solvers, and optionally running and plotting the solutions. All of the original Cellerator arrows, which represent reactions ranging from mass action, Michales–Menten–Henri (MMH) and Gene-Regulation (GRN) to Monod–Wyman–Changeaux (MWC), user defined reactions and enzymatic expansions (KMech), were previously represented with the Mathematica extended character set. These are now typed as reaction-like commands in ASCII text files that are read by Pycellerator, which includes a Python command line interface (CLI), a Python application programming interface (API) and an iPython notebook interface.

Results: Cellerator reaction arrows are now input in text files. The arrows are parsed by Pycellerator and translated into differential equations in Python, and Python code is automatically generated to solve the system. Time courses are produced by executing the auto-generated Python code. Users have full freedom to modify the solver and utilize the complete set of standard Python tools. The new libraries are completely independent of the old Cellerator software and do not require Mathematica.

Availability and implementation: All software is available (GPL) from the github repository at https://github.com/biomathman/pycellerator/releases. Details, including installation instructions and a glossary of acronyms and terms, are given in the Supplementary information.

Contact:bruce.e.shapiro@csun.edu

Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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