Spiking Neural P Systems with Functional Astrocytes
Spiking Neural P Systems (SN P Systems, for short) is a developing field within the universe of P Systems. New variants arise constantly as the study of their properties, such as computational completeness and computational efficiency, grows. Variants frequently incorporate new ingredients into the original model inspired by real neurophysiological structure of the brain. Astrocytes are one of the elements existing in that structure. Also known collectively as astroglia, astrocytes are characteristic star-shaped glial cells in the brain and spinal cord. In this paper, a new variant of Spiking Neural P Systems incorporating astrocytes is introduced. These astrocytes are modelled as computing devices capable of performing function computation in a single computation step. In order to experimentally study the action of Spiking Neural P Systems with astrocytes, it is necessary to develop software providing the required simulation tools. Within this trend, P–Lingua offers a standard language for the definition of P Systems. Part of the same software project, pLinguaCore library provides particular implementations of parsers and simulators for the models specified in P–Lingua. Along with the new SN P System variant with astrocytes, an extension of the P–Lingua language allowing definition of these systems is presented in this paper, as well as an upgrade of pLinguaCore, including a parser and a simulator that supports the aforementioned variant.
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