Organic Computing

Part of the series Understanding Complex Systems pp 167-199

Organically Grown Architectures: Creating Decentralized, Autonomous Systems by Embryomorphic Engineering

  • René DoursatAffiliated withCentre de Recherche en Epistèmologie Appliquée (CREA), Institut des Systèmes Complexes (ISC),CNRS and Ecole Polytechnique

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Exploding growth growth in computational systems forces us to gradually replace rigid design and control with decentralization and autonomy. Information technologies will progress, instead, by“meta-designing” mechanisms of system self-assembly, self-regulation and evolution. Nature offers a great variety of efficient complex systems, in which numerous small elements form large-scale, adaptive patterns. The new engineering challenge is to recreate this self-organization and let it freely generate innovative designs under guidance. This article presents an original model of artificial system growth inspired by embryogenesis. A virtual organism is a lattice of cells that proliferate, migrate and self-pattern into differentiated domains. Each cell’s fate is controlled by an internal gene regulatory network network. Embryomorphic engineering emphasizes hyperdistributed architectures, and their development as a prerequisite of evolutionary design.

complex systems artificial development evolutionary computation systems embryomorphic engineering