Analysis of a stochastic chemical system close to a SNIPER bifurcation of its mean-field model

Radek Erban, S. Jonathan Chapman, Ioannis G. Kevrekidis, Tomáš Vejchodský

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46 Scopus citations


A framework for the analysis of stochastic models of chemical systems for which the deterministic mean-field description is undergoing a saddle-node infinite period (SNIPER) bifurcation is presented. Such a bifurcation occurs, for example, in the modeling of cell-cycle regulation. It is shown that the stochastic system possesses oscillatory solutions even for parameter values for which the mean-field model does not oscillate. The dependence of the mean period of these oscillations on the parameters of the model (kinetic rate constants) and the size of the system (number of molecules present) are studied. Our approach is based on the chemical Fokker-Planck equation. To gain some insight into the advantages and disadvantages of the method, a simple one-dimensional chemical switch is first analyzed, and then the chemical SNIPER problem is studied in detail. First, results obtained by solving the Fokker-Planck equation numerically are presented. Then an asymptotic analysis of the Fokker-Planck equation is used to derive explicit formulae for the period of oscillation as a function of the rate constants and as a function of the system size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)984-1016
Number of pages33
JournalSIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Mathematics


  • Chemical Fokker-Planck equation
  • Stochastic bifurcations


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