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Proceedings Paper

Computing with motile bio-agents
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Paper Abstract

We describe a model of computation of the parallel type, which we call 'computing with bio-agents', based on the concept that motions of biological objects such as bacteria or protein molecular motors in confined spaces can be regarded as computations. We begin with the observation that the geometric nature of the physical structures in which model biological objects move modulates the motions of the latter. Consequently, by changing the geometry, one can control the characteristic trajectories of the objects; on the basis of this, we argue that such systems are computing devices. We investigate the computing power of mobile bio-agent systems and show that they are computationally universal in the sense that they are capable of computing any Boolean function in parallel. We argue also that using appropriate conditions, bio-agent systems can solve NP-complete problems in probabilistic polynomial time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 December 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6416, Biomedical Applications of Micro- and Nanoengineering III, 64160S (14 December 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.707691
Show Author Affiliations
Dan V. Nicolau Jr., Mathematical Institute, Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom)
Kevin Burrage, Advanced Computational Modelling Ctr., Univ. of Queensland (Australia)
Dan V. Nicolau, Dept. of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Liverpool Univ. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6416:
Biomedical Applications of Micro- and Nanoengineering III
Dan V. Nicolau, Editor(s)

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