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Reference Details
Adamatzky, A., Lees, M.H. and Sloot, P.M.A. (2012), "Bio-development of motorway networks in the Netherlands: A slime mould approach".

Plasmodium of a cellular slime mould Physarum polycephalum is a very large eukaryotic microbe visible to the unaided eye. During its foraging behavior the plasmodium spans sources of nutrients with a network of protoplasmic tubes. In this paper we attempt to address the following question: Is slime mould capable of computing transport networks? By assuming the sources of nutrients are cities and protoplasmic tubes connecting the sources are motorways, how well does the plasmodium approximate existing motorway networks? We take the Netherlands as a case study for bio-development of motorways, while it has the most dense motorway network in Europe, current demand is rapidly approaching the upper limits of existing capacity. We represent twenty major cities with oat flakes, place plasmodium in Amsterdam and record how the plasmodium spreads between oat flakes via the protoplasmic tubes. First we analyze slime-mould-built and man-built transport networks in a framework of proximity graphs to investigate if the slime mould is capable of computing existing networks. We then go on to investigate if the slime mould is able calculate or adapt the network through imitating restructuring of the transport network as a response to potential localized flooding of the Netherlands.

Bio-inspired computing; Physarum polycephalum; pattern formation; The Netherlands motorways; road planning

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This article is 'Highly accessed'  (total accesses to this article since publication: 1197) relative to age  in  BioMed Central:
Increasing risk behaviour can outweigh the benefits of antiretroviral drug treatment on the HIV incidence among men-having-sex-with-men in Amsterdam
Shan Mei, Rick Quax, David VAN de Vijver, Yifan Zhu and P.m.a. Sloot BMC Infectious Diseases, 11:118   (11 May 2011)

As of August 27, the most downloaded/accessed paper in BMC Systems Biology is: D. van Dijk et al.: Identifying potential survival strategies of HIV-1 through virus-host protein interaction networks, BMC Systems Biology, vol. 4, nr 1 pp. 96+17. 2010.

This paper received the ICCS best paper award 2010:
N. Zarrabi et al.: Modeling HIV-1 intracellular replication,
Procedia Computer Science vol. 1, nr 1 pp. 555-564. Elsevier B.V., Amsterdam, May 2010.

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