DAISY: a new software tool to test global identifiability of biological and physiological systems

Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 2007 Oct;88(1):52-61. doi: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2007.07.002. Epub 2007 Aug 20.


A priori global identifiability is a structural property of biological and physiological models. It is considered a prerequisite for well-posed estimation, since it concerns the possibility of recovering uniquely the unknown model parameters from measured input-output data, under ideal conditions (noise-free observations and error-free model structure). Of course, determining if the parameters can be uniquely recovered from observed data is essential before investing resources, time and effort in performing actual biomedical experiments. Many interesting biological models are nonlinear but identifiability analysis for nonlinear system turns out to be a difficult mathematical problem. Different methods have been proposed in the literature to test identifiability of nonlinear models but, to the best of our knowledge, so far no software tools have been proposed for automatically checking identifiability of nonlinear models. In this paper, we describe a software tool implementing a differential algebra algorithm to perform parameter identifiability analysis for (linear and) nonlinear dynamic models described by polynomial or rational equations. Our goal is to provide the biological investigator a completely automatized software, requiring minimum prior knowledge of mathematical modelling and no in-depth understanding of the mathematical tools. The DAISY (Differential Algebra for Identifiability of SYstems) software will potentially be useful in biological modelling studies, especially in physiology and clinical medicine, where research experiments are particularly expensive and/or difficult to perform. Practical examples of use of the software tool DAISY are presented. DAISY is available at the web site http://www.dei.unipd.it/~pia/.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Software*