On Comprehensive and Realistic Modeling
The talk will discuss the idea of comprehensive and realistic modeling of biological systems. In comprehensive modeling the main purpose is to understand an entire system in detail and to use that understanding to analyze and predict behavior in silico. In realistic modeling the main issue is to model the behavior of actual elements, making possible realistic and executions/simulations that reveal emergent properties. I will address the motivation for such modeling and the philosophy underlying the techniques for carrying it out, as well as the crucial question of when such models are to be deemed valid, or complete. The examples I will present will be from among the modeling efforts I have been involved in with my group: T cell development in the thymus, lymph node development, the pancreatic islets, and the C. elegans reproduction system.