The Chemical Master Equation (CME) is a cornerstone of stochastic analysis and simulation of models of biochemical reaction networks. Yet direct solutions of the CME have remained elusive. Although several approaches overcome the infinite dimensional nature of the CME through projections or other means, a common feature of proposed approaches is their susceptibility to the curse of dimensionality, i.e. the exponential growth in memory and computational requirements in the number of problem dimensions. We present a novel approach that has the potential to "lift" this curse of dimensionality. The approach is based on the use of the recently proposed Quantized Tensor Train (QTT) formatted numerical linear algebra for the low parametric, numerical representation of tensors. The QTT decomposition admits both, algorithms for basic tensor arithmetics with complexity scaling linearly in the dimension (number of species) and sub-linearly in the mode size (maximum copy number), and a numerical tensor rounding procedure which is stable and quasi-optimal. We show how the CME can be represented in QTT format, then use the exponentially-converging hp-discontinuous Galerkin discretization in time to reduce the CME evolution problem to a set of QTT-structured linear equations to be solved at each time step using an algorithm based on Density Matrix Renormalization Group (DMRG) methods from quantum chemistry. Our method automatically adapts the "basis" of the solution at every time step guaranteeing that it is large enough to capture the dynamics of interest but no larger than necessary, as this would increase the computati onal complexity. Our approach is demonstrated by applying it to three different examples from systems biology: independent birth-death process, an example of enzymatic futile cycle, and a stochastic switch model. The numerical results on these examples demonstrate that the proposed QTT method achieves dramatic speedups and several orders of magnitude storage savings over direct approaches. © 2014 Kazeev et al.
Kazeev, V., Khammash, M., Nip, M., & Schwab, C. (2014). Direct Solution of the Chemical Master Equation Using Quantized Tensor Trains. PLoS Computational Biology, 10(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003359