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On the complexity of reconstructing chemical reaction networks

: Fagerberg, R.; Flamm, C.; Merkle, D.; Peters, P.; Stadler, P.F.


Mathematics in Computer Science 7 (2013), No.3, pp.275-292
ISSN: 1661-8270 (Print)
ISSN: 1661-8289 (Online)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IZI ()

The analysis of the structure of chemical reaction networks is crucial for a better understanding of chemical processes. Such networks are well described as hypergraphs. However, due to the available methods, analyses regarding network properties are typically made on standard graphs derived from the full hypergraph description, e.g. on the so-called species and reaction graphs. However, a reconstruction of the underlying hypergraph from these graphs is not necessarily unique. In this paper, we address the problem of reconstructing a hypergraph from its species and reaction graph and show NP-completeness of the problem in its Boolean formulation. Furthermore we study the problem empirically on random and real world instances in order to investigate its computational limits in practice.