Symbolic computation allows qualitative answers to biological questions. Qualitative methods analyze dynamical input systems as formal objects, in contrast to investigating only a subset of the state space, as is the case with numerical simulation. However, symbolic computation tools and libraries have a different set of requirements for their input data than their numerical counterparts. A common format used in mathematical modeling of biological processes is SBML. The use of SBML data in symbolic computation requires significant pre-processing, incorporating external biological and mathematical expertise. ODEbase provides high quality symbolic computation input data derived from established existing biomodels.


Christoph Lüders
Institute of Mathematics
University of Kassel, Germany

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Ovidiu Radulescu
Systems Biology and Biological Physics
University of Montpellier, France

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Thomas Sturm
CNRS, Inria, and the University of Lorraine, France
MPI Informatics and Saarland University, Germany

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Further Contributors

Anna Meschede, Matthias Neidhardt, Hamid Rahkooy, Andreas Weber †


General email odebase@odebase.org
Webmaster website@odebase.org


ODEbase has been supported by the interdisciplinary bilateral project ANR-17-CE40-0036 and DFG-391322026 SYMBIONT.

Why ODEbase

Interdisciplinary competence

The derivation of adequate ODEs for the kinetics requires combined biological and mathematical expertise. Users can outsource this task to ODEbase.

Economic use of human resources

Symbolic computation input is pre-computed and directly available.


ODEbase models used and cited in the literature can be conveniently reviewed on the basis of the original data and re-used in follow-up publications.

Canonical reference

ODEbase fixes choices for the inevitable renaming of species and parameters to common mathematical notation. This facilitates comparability of results.


Beyond its primary purpose, ODEbase is perfectly suited to generate benchmark sets for novel algorithms and software in the field.

Cite ODEbase

When using ODEbase data in your publications, please acknowledge our work by citing ODEbase as a data source as follows:

Christoph Lüders, Thomas Sturm, Ovidiu Radulescu. ODEbase: A Repository of ODE Systems for Systems Biology, Bioinformatics Advances 2(1):vbac027, 2022. Open access at doi:10.1093/bioadv/vbac027. [bibtex]

Current database status

ODEbase currently holds 662 models in total, of which 479 are rational, 199 are polynomial, and 71 have mass-action kinetics.