The informational architecture of the cell

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55 Scopus citations


We compare the informational architecture of biological and random networks to identify informational features that may distinguish biological networks from random. The study presented here focuses on the Boolean network model for regulation of the cell cycle of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We compare calculated values of local and global information measures for the fission yeast cell cycle to the same measures as applied to two different classes of random networks: Erdös-Rényi and scale-free.We report patterns in local information processing and storage that do indeed distinguish biological from random, associated with control nodes that regulate the function of the fission yeast cell-cycle network. Conversely, we find that integrated information, which serves as a global measure of 'emergent' information processing, does not differ from random for the case presented. We discuss implications for our understanding of the informational architecture of the fission yeast cellcycle network in particular, and more generally for illuminating any distinctive physics that may be operative in life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0057
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2063
StatePublished - Mar 13 2016


  • Boolean network
  • Information dynamics
  • Informational architecture
  • Integrated information
  • Top-down causation
  • Yeast cell cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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