Tellurium: An extensible python-based modeling environment for systems and synthetic biology

Biosystems. 2018 Sep;171:74-79. doi: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2018.07.006. Epub 2018 Jul 25.


Here we present Tellurium, a Python-based environment for model building, simulation, and analysis that facilitates reproducibility of models in systems and synthetic biology. Tellurium is a modular, cross-platform, and open-source simulation environment composed of multiple libraries, plugins, and specialized modules and methods. Tellurium is a self-contained modeling platform which comes with a fully configured Python distribution. Two interfaces are provided, one based on the Spyder IDE which has an accessible user interface akin to MATLAB and a second based on the Jupyter Notebook, which is a format that contains live code, equations, visualizations, and narrative text. Tellurium uses libRoadRunner as the default SBML simulation engine which supports deterministic simulations, stochastic simulations, and steady-state analyses. Tellurium also includes Antimony, a human-readable model definition language which can be converted to and from SBML. Other standard Python scientific libraries such as NumPy, SciPy, and matplotlib are included by default. Additionally, we include several user-friendly plugins and advanced modules for a wide-variety of applications, ranging from complex algorithms for bifurcation analysis to multidimensional parameter scanning. By combining multiple libraries, plugins, and modules into a single package, Tellurium provides a unified but extensible solution for biological modeling and analysis for both novices and experts.


Keywords: SBML; Simulation; Software; Systems biology.

MeSH terms

  • Models, Biological*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Synthetic Biology*
  • Systems Biology*
  • Tellurium / chemistry*


  • Tellurium