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Modeling Dynamic Biological Systems

Bruce Hannon and Matthias Ruth
Publisher: 
Springer
Publication Date: 
2014
Number of Pages: 
434
Format: 
Hardcover
Edition: 
2
Series: 
Modeling Dynamic Systems
Price: 
99.00
ISBN: 
9783319056142
Category: 
Textbook
[Reviewed by
Megan Sawyer
, on
10/9/2015
]

As someone familiar with modeling that uses “complicated, unintuitive syntax” (p. 26), I found this book to be a delightful introduction to symbolic programming using STELLA. With the run-time version of STELLA supplied with the text, the process of designing and organizing new models, guided stepwise with examples in each chapter, becomes more enjoyable and produces rapid results.

Although the sheer number of chapters (44, to be precise) may be intimidating to the reader, the chapters are clustered according to themes to provide some cohesion. Furthermore, each chapter describes a different biological system model, complete with a STELLA diagram and associated code. This allows for verification of correct model design before exploring the possibilities for each system. The authors further enhanced the readability of the text by structuring the chapters in a semi-linear fashion; each chapter is meant to be read in order to build through the different aspects of STELLA, but the book can be explored out of order with little impact on the overall understanding.

My primary complaints are that there are no distinct end-of-chapter exercises to test understanding of the newly-developed ideas in the chapter, nor does the version of STELLA provided allow for saving a model for later use. However, the overall easy introduction to biological modeling with STELLA outweighs these points and I would recommend this text to a reader interested in model development using symbolic programming tasks.


Megan Sawyer is an assistant professor of mathematics at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, NH.

I. INTRODUCTION
1. Modeling Dynamic Biological Systems
2. Exploring Dynamic Biological Systems
3. Risky Population
4. Steady State, Oscillation and Chaos in Population Dynamics
5. Spatial Dynamics

II. PHYSICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL MODELS
6. Law of Mass Action
7. Catalyzed Product
8. Two-Stage Nutrient Uptake
9. Iodine Compartment
10. The Brusselator
11. Signal Transmission

III. GENETIC MODELS
12. Mating and Mutation of Alleles
13. Artificial Worms
14. Langur Infanticide and Long-term Matriline Fitness

IV. MODELS OF ORGANISM
15. Odor Sensing
16. Stochastic Resonance
17. Heart Beat
18. Bat Thermo-Regulation
19. The Optimum Plant
20. Soybean Plant Growth
21. Infectious Diseases

VI. SINGLE POPULATION MODELS
22. Adaptive Population Control
23. Roan Herds
24. Population Dynamics of Voles
25. Lemming Population Dynamics
26. Multi-Stage Insect Models
27. Two Age-Class Parasites
28. Monkey Travels
29. Biosynchronicity

VII. MULTIPLE POPULATION MODELS
30. Plant Microbe Interaction
31. Wildebeest
32. Nicholson-Bailey Host-Parasite Interaction
33. Diseased and Healthy Immigrating Insects
34. Two-Species Colonization Model
35. Herbivore-Algae Predator-Prey Dynamics
36. The Grass Carp
37. Recruitment and Trophic Dynamics of Gizzard Shad
38. Salamander Dispersal. 39. Quail Movement
40. Modeling Spatial Dynamics of Spatial Predator-Prey Interactions in a Changing

VII. CATASTROPHE AND SELF-ORGANIZATION
41. Catastrophe
42. Spruce Budworm Dynamics
43. Game of Life
44. Daisyworld

VIII. CONCLUSION
45. Building a Modeling Community

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED