Brief Announcement: Barrier-1 Reachability for Thermodynamic Binding Networks Is PSPACE-Complete

Author Austin Luchsinger

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Austin Luchsinger
  • The University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA


The author would like to thank the reviewers for their detailed reading and constructive feedback.

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Austin Luchsinger. Brief Announcement: Barrier-1 Reachability for Thermodynamic Binding Networks Is PSPACE-Complete. In 1st Symposium on Algorithmic Foundations of Dynamic Networks (SAND 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 221, pp. 24:1-24:3, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)


Chemical and molecular systems exist in a world between kinetics and thermodynamics. Engineers of such systems often design them to perform computation solely by following particular kinetic pathways. That is, just like silicon computation, these systems are intentionally designed to run contrary to the natural thermodynamic driving forces of the system. The thermodynamic binding networks (TBN) model is a relatively new model that is particularly well-equipped to investigate this dichotomy between kinetics and thermodynamics. The kinetic TBN model uses reconfiguration energy barriers to inform kinetic pathways. This work shows that deciding if two TBN configurations have a barrier-1 pathway between them is PSPACE-complete. This result comes via a reduction from nondeterministic constraint logic (NCL).

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Theory of computation → Models of computation
  • Thermodynamic Binding Networks
  • Nondeterministic Constraint Logic
  • NP-complete
  • PSPACE-complete


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