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Emergence, Complexity and Computation

From Pattern Formation to Material Computation

Multi-agent Modelling of Physarum Polycephalum

Authors: Jones, Jeff

  • Examines and models the behavior of a simple organism which is capable of remarkable biological and computational features that seem to transcend its simple component parts
  • Addresses topics of mobile multi-agent systems, pattern formation, biological modelling, artificial life, unconventional computation, and robotics
  • Methodically describes the necessary components and their interactions, showing how deceptively simple components can create powerful mechanisms, aided by abundant illustrations, supplementary recordings and interactive models
  • Asks the following question: How can something as simple as Physarum do such complex things, and with such limited resources?
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eBook £87.50
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-16823-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £129.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-16822-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover £109.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-38651-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book addresses topics of mobile multi-agent systems, pattern formation, biological modelling, artificial life, unconventional computation, and robotics. The behaviour of a simple organism which is capable of remarkable biological and computational feats that seem to transcend its simple component parts is examined and modelled. In this book the following question is asked: How can something as simple as Physarum polycephalum - a giant amoeboid single-celled organism which does not possess any neural tissue, fixed skeleton or organised musculature - can approximate complex computational behaviour during its foraging, growth and adaptation of its amorphous body plan, and with such limited resources? To answer this question the same apparent limitations as faced by the organism are applied: using only simple components with local interactions. A synthesis approach is adopted and a mobile multi-agent system with very simple individual behaviours is employed. It is shown their interactions yield emergent behaviour showing complex self-organised pattern formation with material-like evolution. The presented model reproduces the biological behaviour of Physarum; the formation, growth and minimisation of transport networks.

In its conclusion the book moves beyond Physarum and provides results of scoping experiments approximating other complex systems using the multi-agent approach. The results of this book demonstrate the power and range of harnessing emergent phenomena arising in simple multi-agent systems for biological modelling, computation and soft-robotics applications. It methodically describes the necessary components and their interactions, showing how deceptively simple components can create powerful mechanisms, aided by abundant illustrations, supplementary recordings and interactive models. It will be of interest to those in biological sciences, physics, computer science and robotics who wish to understand how simple components can result in complex and useful behaviours and who wish explore the potential of guided pattern formation themselves.

Reviews

“The book presents a full account of research and will be extremely useful for young and early career researchers exploring the topic of both multiagent modeling and the slime mold. … I found the book a useful tool for teaching students how agent-based modeling works, its complexities, and how it can be used to extend our knowledge of complex models to build better and reliable structures inspired by nature.” (Mariam Kiran, Computing Reviews, November, 2015)


Table of contents (17 chapters)

  • Introduction and Overview

    Jones, Jeff

    Pages 3-12

  • Slime Mould Physarum Polycephalum

    Jones, Jeff

    Pages 13-29

  • A Multi-agent Model of Physarum

    Jones, Jeff

    Pages 33-60

  • Modelling the Biological Behaviour of Physarum

    Jones, Jeff

    Pages 61-89

  • Implementing Neural Phenomena in Unorganised Non-neural Substrates

    Jones, Jeff

    Pages 91-106

Buy this book

eBook £87.50
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-16823-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £129.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-16822-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover £109.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-38651-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
From Pattern Formation to Material Computation
Book Subtitle
Multi-agent Modelling of Physarum Polycephalum
Authors
Series Title
Emergence, Complexity and Computation
Series Volume
15
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-16823-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-16823-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-16822-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-38651-5
Series ISSN
2194-7287
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 370
Number of Illustrations and Tables
64 b/w illustrations, 145 illustrations in colour
Topics