In systems biology, models identify the primary actors in the body system, but can any model which does not include all secondary actors be said to be complete?

The current sysbio paradigm is to identify and study biological subsystems. However systems and interactions are subtle and numerous, and no scientist will be able to identify and describe, by hand, how the system works in its entirety. What attempts have there been to model a complete ecological system of internal chemical dynamics?

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    $\begingroup$ "All models are wrong but some are useful". This goes for both mathematical and experimental models. $\endgroup$
    Jan 4 '17 at 5:45
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    $\begingroup$ That's right, but some models are less wrong than others. $\endgroup$
    – Jamie
    Jan 4 '17 at 6:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Jamie Your comment reminds me of George Orwell's quote from Animal Farm - "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" $\endgroup$ Jan 4 '17 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ Your question is quite broad. People are constantly making efforts to make better models. With increased computational power, simulation of complex models is no longer difficult. However, you should also keep in mind that if the question that you are asking can be explained by a simple model then no need to complicate things. Choose the model with the least number of parameters. $\endgroup$
    Jan 5 '17 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ True, what I am looking for is a discussion of "completeness" of a chemical-biological model. If you consider the human body as a complex system, what reduction can be made to computer data? Clearly there is no representation which recovers the entire system, but if you model a human as a cellular automaton, what data and rules of evolution could capture a smaller system that works on the same principles? $\endgroup$
    – Jamie
    Jan 5 '17 at 5:53

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