Chemotaxis-Inspired Cellular Primitives for Self-Organizing Shape Formation

L. Bai and D. Breen, "Chemotaxis-Inspired Cellular Primitives for Self-Organizing Shape Formation," R. Doursat, H. Sayama, O. Michel (eds.), Morphogenetic Engineering: Toward Programmable Complex Systems, Springer, Berlin, Chapter 9, 2012, pp. 209-237.

Motivated by the ability of living cells to form specific shapes and structures, we are investigating chemotaxis-inspired cellular primitives for self-organizing shape formation. This paper details our initial effort to create Morphogenetic Primitives (MPs), software agents that may be programmed to self-organize into user-specified 2D shapes. The interactions of MPs are inspired by chemotaxis-driven aggregation behaviors exhibited by actual living cells. Cells emit a chemical into their environment. Each cell responds to the stimulus by moving in the direction of the gradient of the cumulative chemical field detected at its surface. The artificial chemical fields of individual MPs are explicitly defined as mathematical functions. Genetic programming is used to discover the chemical field functions that produce an automated shape formation capability. We describe the cell-based behaviors of MPs and a distributed genetic programming method that discovers the chemical fields needed to produce macroscopic shapes from simple aggregating primitives. Several examples of aggregating MPs demonstrate that chemotaxis is an effective paradigm for spatial self-organization algorithms.

Last modified on February 8, 2013.