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Jason Cawley
Wolfram Science Group
Phoenix, AZ USA

Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 712

Transient organism patterns paper

Self-organized patterns and traffic flow in colonies of organisms: from bacteria and social insects to vertebrates

D. Chowdhury, K. Nishinari and A. Schadschneider

http://www.arxiv.org/abs/q-bio.PE/0401006

Flocks of birds and schools of fish are familiar examples of spatial patterns formed by living organisms. In contrast to the patterns on the skins of, say, zebra and giraffe, the patterns of our interest are transient although different patterns change over different time scales. The aesthetic beauty of these patterns have attracted the attentions of poets and philosophers for centuries. Scientists from various disciplines, however, are in search of common underlying principles that give rise to the transient patterns in colonies of organisms. Such patterns are observed not only in colonies of organisms as simple as single-cell bacteria, as interesting as social insects like ants and termites as well as in colonies of vertebrates as complex as birds and fish but also in human societies. In recent years, particularly over the last one decade, physicists have utilized the conceptual framework as well as the methodological toolbox of statistical mechanics to unravel the mystery of these patterns. In this article we present an overview emphasizing the common trends that rely on theoretical modelling of these systems using the so-called agent-based Lagrangian approach.

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Old Post 07-25-2004 03:40 AM
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Jason Cawley
Wolfram Science Group
Phoenix, AZ USA

Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 712

Despite using the language of statistical mechanics in the abstract, much of the work discussed in this paper is actually implimented with cellular automaton models. Sometimes CA models that incorporate randomness or continuous values to model fields, to be sure, but CA models nevertheless. The sort of topics covered are micro-organism aggregations, insect foraging behavior, and flocking and traffic more generally.

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