Estimating the size of the olfactory repertoire

L. Carmel*, D. Harel, D. Lancet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The concept of shape space, which has been successfully implemented in immunology, is used here to construct a model for the discrimination power of the olfactory system. Using reasonable assumptions on the behaviour of the biological system, we are able to estimate the number of distinct olfactory receptor types. Our estimated value of around 1000 receptor types is in good agreement with experimental data.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1063-1078
Number of pages16
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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