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Interior operators and their relationship to autocatalytic networks

Steel, Mike (2023) Interior operators and their relationship to autocatalytic networks. [Preprint]


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The emergence of an autocatalytic network from an available set of elements is a fundamental step in early evolutionary processes, such as the origin of metabolism. Given the set of elements, the reactions between them (chemical or otherwise), and with various elements catalysing certain reactions, a Reflexively Autocatalytic F-generated (RAF) set is a subset R' of reactions that is self-generating from a given food set, and with each reaction in R' being catalysed from within R'. RAF theory has been applied to various phenomena in theoretical biology, and a key feature of the approach is that it is possible to efficiently identify and classify RAFs within large systems. This is possible because RAFs can be described as the (nonempty) subsets of the reactions that are the fixed points of an (efficiently computable) interior map that operates on subsets of reactions. Although the main generic results concerning RAFs can be derived using just this property, we show that for systems with at least 12 reactions there are generic results concerning RAFs that cannot be proven using the interior operator property alone.

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Item Type: Preprint
Steel, Mikemathmomike@gmail.com0000-0001-7015-4644
Keywords: autocatalytic network, union-closed sets, idempotent functions, directed graphs
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Depositing User: Prof Mike Steel
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2023 12:08
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2023 12:08
Item ID: 22656
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Date: October 2023

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