A general-purpose, stochastic, biochemical reaction simulator for large reaction networks
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README.txt

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NFsim - the network free stochastic simulator, v1.11

michael w. sneddon
justin s. hogg
james r. faeder
thierry emonet

Yale University
University of Pittsburgh
funded by the National Science Foundation


################################################################################

NFsim is a free, open-source, biochemical reaction simulator designed to handle systems 
that have a large or even infinite number of possible molecular interactions or states. 
NFsim also has advanced and flexible options for simulating coarse-grained representations 
of complex nonlinear reaction mechanisms.

NFsim is ideal for modeling polymerization, aggregation, and cooperative reactions that 
cannot be handled with traditional stochastic or ODE simulators. Models are specified in 
the BioNetGen Langauge, providing a powerful model building environment.

If you just want to download and use NFsim, you should simply download a preconfigured
packaged release from http://emonet.biology.yale.edu/nfsim.  If you want to hack on the
code or make contributions, please create a fork and submit pull requests to the dev
branch.

If you use NFsim for your research or work, please cite NFsim as:
Sneddon MW, Faeder JR & Emonet T.  Efficient modeling, simulation and 
coarse-graining of biological complexity with NFsim.  Nature Methods,(2011) 8(2):177-83.

################################################################################

NFsim is released under the MIT License.  See LICENSE.txt for more details.  The git 
repository is hosted on github at: https://github.com/msneddon/nfsim
  
For help with running NFsim, see the user manual, NFsim_manual_[version].pdf,
and open the example model "simple_system.bngl".

Executable files for Windows, Mac and Linux are in the "bin" directory.  Source
code and makefiles for NFsim are in the NFcode directory.  Example models are
in the "models" directory, with README files.  BioNetGen and the ODE and SSA
solvers used by BioNetGen are in the BNG and Network2 directories.  Finally,
a suite of helpful analysis and other modeling tools can be found in the
"NFtools" directory.

Enjoy your new network-free world!



################################################################################

Release Notes

v1.11   Oct, 2012
        (a) Molecules without components may be treated as population variables
        rather than individual agents. This feature is useful for reducing memory
        requirements when a simple molecule has very large population. A molecule
        type may be flagged for treatment as a population variable by using the
        "population" keyword following the molecule type definition in the BNGL
        model file. See section 8.i in the documentation for further detail.
        (b) Added a new Reaction Class called "FunctionProduct" that permits local
        functions defined on two reactants. The local rate law must have the form
        f(x)*g(y), where x and y are tags on two distinct reactants. See section
        7.c in the documentation for complete information.
        (c) Fixed some problems evaluating complex-scoped local functions (CSLF). 
        CSLF were not updated properly after reactions that split complexes or 
        deleted molecules. As in v1.10, complex-scoped local functions are
        enabled by default. A new command-line switch, -nocslf, has been added
        which disables complex-scoped evaluation. 
        (d) Improved efficiency for matching patterns with connected-to syntax
        when the connected-to component does not have reaction center. This may
        be especially notable in models with large complexes, e.g. polymerization.
		
v1.10   Aug, 2011
        (a) Command line parser now detects arguments that are not properly
        preceeded by a dash, and generates a warning.  (b) Includes a check when 
        creating template molecules that throws an error when users attempt to 
        use Null or Trash in reactant or observable patterns (anything that 
        requires the creation of a Template molecule). (c) fixed a bug introduced 
        in v1.09 whereby a site was allowed to bind to itself, for instance, in a 
        dimerization rxn.  (d) Support for creating a new molecule bound to an
        existing molecule, as in a rule like A(a) -> A(a!1).A(a!1). Existing code
        that implemented this feature did not function properly with the check
        for null conditions before reactions were fired. (e) Fixed bug in template 
        molecule when clearing molecules after a connected-to syntax search.  In 
        some cases, not all molecules were being cleared, giving rise to situations 
        where adding one observable created dangling matches which affected the 
        results of other observables. (f) NFsim is now packaged with Network3, an
        updated version of the run_network code to execute ODE and SSA simulations.
        Network3 allows global functions in BNGL models among other release features
        given here: http://bionetgen.org/index.php/Release_Notes.  Note that Network3
        does not support On-The-Fly Stochastic Simulation (you will have to recompile
        Network2 to use this feature).  (g)  Mac 32bit is no longer supported by NFsim,
        but you can make executables for older Macs by recompiling the code on your
        own machine.  See the manual for instructions.


v1.09   Apr, 2011
        (a) NFsim now allows the mixing of integers and strings as component
        labels, although if numbers and strings are mixed, all labels are parsed
        as strings, NOT integers.  Therefore, PLUS and MINUS keywords cannot
        be used if mixing integer states and string states, and a warning will
        be generated if a state is set to PLUS.  One can only use PLUS or MINUS
        when ALL states are an integer value greater than zero.  This new behavior
        was needed to handle BNGL files that used the convention of ~P specifying
        phosphorylated, and ~0 specifying unphosphorylated.
        (b) Fixed bug whereby if verbose option was turned on without specifying
        an output file location, no output would be generated.  Now, output to
        a gdat file will be generated in these cases.
        (c) Use of 'ss' input argument to 'saveSpecies', which prints a a list of 
        all species at the end of a simulation, is now handled.  This feature was 
        implemented to allow future support in BNG by restarting an NFsim simulation 
        after it ends, which can be done by parsing the output species list together 
        with a BNGL model file.  This feature still has to be tested in BNG, and will
        likely be fully documented in v1.10.  The 'ss' flag writes the file to either
        [system_name]_nf.species, or a file designated by the user.
        (d) fixed memory leak in TemplateMolecules that caused memory / performance
        issues with molecules having multiple identical sites and a high degree
        of aggregation. (e) fixed csv error, where when the csv flag is used, the
        header line is not comma delimited.  (f)  nfsim now supports intra-molecular
        binding.  Previously these events were rejected as null events.


v1.08   Dec, 2010 - With the new TotalRate keyword, users are now able to
        specify whether or not to use the microscopic (default) interpretation
        or macroscopic (TotalRate) interpretation of rate laws.  Now, NFsim
        convention matches BNG.  Previously, NFsim interpreted all rates as
        microscopic except for global functions, which were interpreted as
        macroscopic.  This is now also explained in the user manual.  Example
        models for the flagellar motor and oscillating gene expression have
        been updated correspondingly so that they still produce the same results
        as in the NFsim paper.
        
        Users also now have the option of outputting gdat files in a comma 
        delimited format (csv), which makes parsing the output file easier 
        in some circumstances, using the flag "-csv".  Additionally, a bug in
        the parameter scanning script was fixed that caused the script to
        crash when scanning a model that includes the local function syntax. 


v1.07   Nov, 2010 - A series of updates to the code were made in this
        release.  (1) RNF files that are not found produce an error message.
        Previously, no error message was given and execution proceeded as if
        the RNF flag was not given.  (2) Input flags to NFsim can be given
        in the original format with a single dash (as in ./NFsim -logo), or
        with the more "linuxy" style double dash (as in ./NFsim --logo).
        (3) The parameter scan script had problems when parsing BNGL files
        with local functions due to the '%' character.  This is now fixed.
        (4) The universal traversal limit is automatically set to be the size
        of the largest pattern in the system, which can be overridden by
        passing the -utl flag.  This allows users who are unfamiliar with
        this speedup to still take advantage of it to a certain extent.  (5)
        the -rtag flag was added that allows NFsim to produce output whenever
        a particular reaction, given by the -rtag flag, is given.  This allows,
        for instance, users to track the fates of single particles exactly
        without using the comprehensive molecule output feature.  (6) The above
        changes are documented in an updated user manual.


v1.06   Sept 28, 2010 - added scripts for running NFsim from Matlab, parameter
        scanning, and basic parameter estimation.  The manual is also updated
        to reflect these changes.  However, the precompiled executables of NFsim
        remain unchanged from v1.05, so running them will give the old version 
        number unless you recompile the code on your own computer.  Also, models
        that were used to compare the performance of NFsim to DYNSTOC, RuleMonkey,
        and Kappa are now included with a readme file under: 
        models/performance_test_models.

v1.052  First publicly released stable build