### Potential landscape of high dimensional nonlinear stochastic dynamics with large noise.

*Ontology highlight*

**ABSTRACT**: Quantifying stochastic processes is essential to understand many natural phenomena, particularly in biology, including the cell-fate decision in developmental processes as well as the genesis and progression of cancers. While various attempts have been made to construct potential landscape in high dimensional systems and to estimate transition rates, they are practically limited to the cases where either noise is small or detailed balance condition holds. A general and practical approach to investigate real-world nonequilibrium systems, which are typically high-dimensional and subject to large multiplicative noise and the breakdown of detailed balance, remains elusive. Here, we formulate a computational framework that can directly compute the relative probabilities between locally stable states of such systems based on a least action method, without the necessity of simulating the steady-state distribution. The method can be applied to systems with arbitrary noise intensities through A-type stochastic integration, which preserves the dynamical structure of the deterministic counterpart dynamics. We demonstrate our approach in a numerically accurate manner through solvable examples. We further apply the method to investigate the role of noise on tumor heterogeneity in a 38-dimensional network model for prostate cancer, and provide a new strategy on controlling cell populations by manipulating noise strength.

**SUBMITTER: **Tang Y

**PROVIDER: **S-EPMC5693902 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

**REPOSITORIES: ** biostudies

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