A Slime Mold Solver for Linear Programming Problems
Physarum polycephalum (true slime mold) has recently emerged as a fascinating example of biological computation through morphogenesis. Despite being a single cell organism, experiments have observed that through its growth process, the Physarum is able to solve various minimum cost flow problems. This paper analyzes a mathematical model of the Physarum growth dynamics. We show how to encode general linear programming (LP) problems as instances of the Physarum. We prove that under the growth dynamics, the Physarum is guaranteed to converge to the optimal solution of the LP. We further derive an efficient discrete algorithm based on the Physarum model, and experimentally verify its performance on assignment problems.
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