From P systems to morphogenetic systems: an overview and open problems


Morphogenetic (M) systems are an abstract model of computation inspired by morphogenetic processes in living cells and organisms. They were created as a generalization of P systems with proteins on membranes. Abstract cells are not used as atomic elements but they can be assembled from simpler primitives called tiles with pre-defined shapes, sizes and changeable positions in 2D or 3D Euclidean space. This additional level of realism provides a closer relation to fields as synthetic or systems biology. We summarize known results on M systems which include studies of computational universality, computational efficiency in solving intractable problems, and we discuss their relation to other models of P systems. An important capability of M systems is their robustness under injuries and their self-healing properties which has been established theoretically and verified experimentally. Finally, we present results of computational experiments inspired by cell mitosis processes. All topics are accompanied with related open problems.

Publication Title

Journal of Membrane Computing