Slime Maps Simulating Real World Transportation Networks

slime_map2

Several research groups around the world in the area of mobility and transportion optimization are exploring the use of a particular slime mould, Physarum polycephalum (the “many-headed slime”), to establish the most efficient routes around congested cities and countries.

The moeba-like creature forages for food by sending out branches (plasmodia) from a central location, with a speed of approximately 1cm per hour in optimum conditions.

slime_map

Even though it forms long, sprawling networks, it biologically still remains a single cell.

As the creature uses its tentacles to explore for nearby food sources, and then thins out those part that do not contribute, it is able to find the most effective way of linking together scattered sources of food, or even find the shortest path through a maze.

Via Information Aesthetics.

This entry was posted in Science, Videos by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s