Parameter estimation—the assignment of values to the parameters in a model—is an important and time-consuming task in computational biology. Recent computational and algorithmic developments have provided novel tools to improve this estimation step. One of these improvements concerns the optimization step, where the parameter space is explored to find interesting regions. In this chapter we review the parameter estimation problem, with a special emphasis on the associated optimization methods. In relation to this, we also provide concepts and tools to help you select the appropriate methodology for a specific scenario.
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