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A Feed-Forward Loop is a genetic network composed of three nodes. This strong network motif is composed of a transcription factor X that regulates a second transcription factor, Y, and both X and Y regulate Z (Figure 1).

Depending on the type of regulations between the different nodes, we can define eight types of FFL that can be classified into two groups : coherent and incoherent FFLs. In coherent FFLs, the indirect path has the same overall sign as the direct path. The most abundant FFL is the type-1 coherent FFL (C1-FFL).

In addition to the signs of the edges, to understand the dynamics of the FFL, we must also know how the inputs from the two regulators X and Y are integrated at the promoter of the gene Z. Uri ALON considers that there are two biologically reasonable logic functions : "AND" logic, in which both X and Y activities are need to be high in order to turn on Z expression and "OR" logic in which either X or Y is sufficient.