Departmental Papers (ESE)


We discuss the interplay between stochasticity and multistability in bio-molecular networks. The resulting cell-level stochastic behavior reflects the fundamentally discrete and random nature of the underlying molecular processes. These ideas are illustrated on the well studied example of the lac operon. We first describe the switching behavior predicted by a differential-equation based model and then show how cell-level stochastic behavior emerges. Finally we point out that the observed macroscopic behavior may not be enough to determine both the dynamic and stochastic parameters.

Document Type

Journal Article

Subject Area


Date of this Version

May 2008


Copyright YEAR IEEE. Reprinted from Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Discrete Event Systems, pages 269-274.

This material is posted here with permission of the IEEE. Such permission of the IEEE does not in any way imply IEEE endorsement of any of the University of Pennsylvania's products or services. Internal or personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution must be obtained from the IEEE by writing to By choosing to view this document, you agree to all provisions of the copyright laws protecting it.



Date Posted: 27 October 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.