Passive vs Active Approaches in Particle Approximations of Reaction-Diffusion Computing

Passive vs Active Approaches in Particle Approximations of Reaction-Diffusion Computing

Jeff Jones (University of the West of England, UK)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/jnmc.2009070104
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Abstract

Reaction-diffusion computing utilizes the complex auto-catalytic and diffusive interactions underlying self-organizing systems for practical computing tasks – developing variants of classical logical computing devices, or direct spatial embodiments of problem representations and solutions. We investigate the concept of passive and active approaches to reaction-diffusion computing. Passive approaches use front propagation as a carrier signal for information transport and computation. Active approaches can both sense and modify the propagation of the underlying carrier signal. Using particle approximations of reaction-diffusion behaviors in chemical wavefront systems, and the plasmodium of Physarum polycephalum, we demonstrate the similarities and differences between the two concepts. We provide examples of how both methods can be used for complex spatially represented computational tasks. We show that the active approach results in second-order emergent behaviors, exhibiting complex quasi-physical properties such as apparent surface tension effects and network minimization which may have utility in future physical implementations of reaction-diffusion computing devices.

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