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Open Access Software

Computationally efficient flux variability analysis

Steinn Gudmundsson1 and Ines Thiele12*

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Systems Biology, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

2 Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering & Computer Science, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

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BMC Bioinformatics 2010, 11:489  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-11-489

Published: 29 September 2010

Abstract

Background

Flux variability analysis is often used to determine robustness of metabolic models in various simulation conditions. However, its use has been somehow limited by the long computation time compared to other constraint-based modeling methods.

Results

We present an open source implementation of flux variability analysis called fastFVA. This efficient implementation makes large-scale flux variability analysis feasible and tractable allowing more complex biological questions regarding network flexibility and robustness to be addressed.

Conclusions

Networks involving thousands of biochemical reactions can be analyzed within seconds, greatly expanding the utility of flux variability analysis in systems biology.