Advances in Physarum Machines is devoted to Slime mould Physarum polycephalum, which is a large single cell capable for distributed sensing, concurrent information processing, parallel computation and decentralized actuation. The ease of culturing and experimenting with Physarum makes this slime mould an ideal substrate for real-world implementations of unconventional sensing and computing devices
The book is a treatise of theoretical and experimental laboratory studies on sensing and computing properties of slime mould, and on the development of mathematical and logical theories of Physarum behaviour.
It is shown how to make logical gates and circuits, electronic devices (memristors, diodes, transistors, wires, chemical and tactile sensors) with the slime mould. The book demonstrates how to modify properties of Physarum computing circuits with functional nano-particles and polymers, to interface the slime mould with field-programmable arrays, and to use Physarum as a controller of microbial fuel cells.
A unique multi-agent model of slime is shown to serve well as a software slime mould capable for solving problems of computational geometry and graph optimization. The multiagent model is complemented by cellular automata models with parallel accelerations. Presented mathematical models inspired by Physarum include non-quantum implementation of Shor's factorization, structural learning, computation of shortest path tree on dynamic graphs, supply chain network design, p-adic computing and syllogistic reasoning.
Advances in Physarum Machines is a unique composition of vibrant and lavishly illustrated essays which will inspire scientists, engineers and artists to exploit natural phenomena in designs of future and emergent computing and sensing devices. It is a 'bible' of experimental computing with spatially extended living substrates, it spanstopics from biology of slime mould, to bio-sensing, to unconventional computing devices and robotics, non-classical logics and music and arts.
"This very, very extensive volume (of over 800 pages) is an excellent introduction to the area, but it is also particularly useful to those both new to the system as well as experienced researchers who wish to understand practical and low-level details from one integrated source rather than searching through many research articles and technical reports."
– Sara Kalvala, Computing Reviews, computingreviews.com, June, 2016