Adaptive Path-Finding and Transport Network Formation by the Amoeba-Like Organism Physarum

  • Itsuki Kunita
  • Kazunori Yoshihara
  • Atsushi Tero
  • Kentaro Ito
  • Chiu Fan Lee
  • Mark D. Fricker
  • Toshiyuki Nakagaki
Part of the Proceedings in Information and Communications Technology book series (PICT, volume 6)


The giant amoeba-like plasmodia of Physarum is able to solve the shortest path through a maze and construct near optimal functional networks between multiple, spatially distributed food-sources. These phenomena are interesting as they provide clues to potential biological computational algorithms that operate in a de-centralized, single-celled system. We report here some factors that can affect path-finding through networks. These findings help us to understand more generally how the organism tries to establish an optimal set of paths in more complex environments and how this behaviour can be captured in relatively simple algorithms.


Physarum combinatorial optimization subcellular computing primitive intelligence 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Itsuki Kunita
    • 1
  • Kazunori Yoshihara
    • 1
  • Atsushi Tero
    • 2
  • Kentaro Ito
    • 3
  • Chiu Fan Lee
    • 4
  • Mark D. Fricker
    • 5
  • Toshiyuki Nakagaki
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Complex and Intelligent Systems, Faculty of Systems Information ScienceFuture University of HakodateHakodateJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Mathematics for IndustryKyushu UniversityNishi-kuJapan
  3. 3.Department of Mathematical and Life Sciences, Faculty of ScienceHiroshima UniversityJapan
  4. 4.Department of BioengineeringImperial College LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.Department of Plant ScienceUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  6. 6.JST, CRESTChiyoda-kuJapan

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