Collaborative computation in self-organizing particle systems

Alexandra Porter, Andrea Richa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Many forms of programmable matter have been proposed for various tasks. We use an abstract model of self-organizing particle systems for programmable matter which could be used for a variety of applications, including smart paint and coating materials for engineering or programmable cells for medical uses. Previous research using this model has focused on shape formation and other spatial configuration problems (e.g., coating and compression). In this work we study foundational computational tasks that exceed the capabilities of the individual constant size memory of a particle, such as implementing a counter and matrix-vector multiplication. These tasks represent new ways to use these self-organizing systems, which, in conjunction with previous shape and configuration work, make the systems useful for a wider variety of tasks. They can also leverage the distributed and dynamic nature of the self-organizing system to be more efficient and adaptable than on traditional linear computing hardware. Finally, we demonstrate applications of similar types of computations with self-organizing systems to image processing, with implementations of image color transformation and edge detection algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUnconventional Computation and Natural Computation - 17th International Conference, UCNC 2018, Proceedings
EditorsSusan Stepney, Sergey Verlan
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783319924342
StatePublished - 2018
Event17th International Conference on Unconventional Computation and Natural Computation, UCNC 2018 - Fontainebleau, France
Duration: Jun 25 2018Jun 29 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10867 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other17th International Conference on Unconventional Computation and Natural Computation, UCNC 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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