## Abstract

A dynamical system entrains to a periodic input if its state converges globally to an attractor with the same period. In particular, for a constant input, the state converges to a unique equilibrium point for any initial condition. We consider the problem of maximizing a weighted average of the system's output along the periodic attractor. The gain of entrainment is the benefit achieved by using a non-constant periodic input relative to a constant input with the same time average. Such a problem amounts to optimal allocation of resources in a periodic manner. We formulate this problem as a periodic optimal control problem, which can be analysed by means of the Pontryagin maximum principle or solved numerically via powerful software packages. We then apply our framework to a class of nonlinear occupancy models that appear frequently in biological synthesis systems and other applications. We show that, perhaps surprisingly, constant inputs are optimal for various architectures. This suggests that the presence of non-constant periodic signals, which frequently appear in biological occupancy systems, is a signature of an underlying time-varying objective functional being optimized.

Original language | English |
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Article number | 210878 |

Journal | Royal Society Open Science |

Volume | 8 |

Issue number | 9 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 22 Sep 2021 |

## Keywords

- contractive systems
- entrainment
- gene expression
- optimal control theory
- ribosome flow model
- systems biology