We describe here a mathematical model of the adaptive dynamics of a transport network of the true slime mold Physarum polycephalum, an amoeboid organism that exhibits path-finding behavior in a maze. This organism possesses a network of tubular elements, by means of which nutrients and signals circulate through the plasmodium. When the organism is put in a maze, the network changes its shape to connect two exits by the shortest path. This process of path-finding is attributed to an underlying physiological mechanism: a tube thickens as the flux through it increases. The experimental evidence for this is, however, only qualitative. We constructed a mathematical model of the general form of the tube dynamics. Our model contains a key parameter corresponding to the extent of the feedback regulation between the thickness of a tube and the flux through it. We demonstrate the dependence of the behavior of the model on this parameter.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistics and Probability
- Modelling and Simulation
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Applied Mathematics