PRISM News - September 2012

Nature Scientific Reports publish a paper by Luca Cardelli & Attila Csikász-Nagy that uses PRISM to study the cell cycle switch as a computing device.

The paper asks the question "what does the cell cycle switch compute, and how does it compute it?" It then finds that a fundamental algorithm from distributed computing matches its behaviour, which is confirmed by analyses using deterministic, stochastic simulation and probabilistic verification methods. For the latter, PRISM (see www.prismmodelchecker.org), a probabilistic model checker being developed at the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham, is used.

Both the cell-cycle switch and the algorithm were previously known: the switch was the subject of a Nobel prize, and the algorithm has been studied independently for its particular efficiency.