Autopoiesis and image processing: Detection of structure and organization in images

  • Mario Köppen
  • Javier Ruiz-del-Solar
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1607)


The theory of Autopoiesis describes what the living systems are and not what they do. Instead of investigating the behavior of systems exhibiting autonomy and the concrete implementation of this autonomy (i.e. the system structure), the study addresses the reason why such behavior is exhibited (i.e. the abstract system organization). This article explores the use of autopoietic concepts in the field of Image Processing. Two different approaches are presented. The first approach assumes that the organization of an image is represented only by its grayvalue distribution. In order to identify autopoietic organization inside an image's pixel distribution, the steady state Xor-operation is identified as the only valid approach for an autopoietic processing of images. The effect of its application on images is explored and discussed. The second approach makes use of a second space, the A-space, as the autopoietic-processing domain. This allows for the formulation of adaptable recognition tasks. Based on this second approach, the concept of autopoiesis as a tool for the analysis of textures is explored.


Autopoiesis Steady State Image Processing Auto-projective Operators Texture Analysis Texture Retrieval Systems Autopoietic-Agents 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. McMullin, B. (1997a). Computational Autopoiesis: The original algorithm. Working Paper 97-01-001, Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA. Scholar
  2. McMullin, B. (1997b). SCL: An artificial chemistry in Swarm. Working Paper 97-01-002, Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA. Scholar
  3. Ruiz-del-Solar, J. (1997). TEXSOM: A new Architecture for Texture Segmentation. Proc. of the Workshop on Self-Organizing Maps—WSOM 97, pp. 227–232, June 4–6, Espoo, Finland.Google Scholar
  4. Varela, F.J. (1979). Principles of Biological Autonomy, New York: Elsevier (North Holland).Google Scholar
  5. Varela, F.J., Maturana, H.R., and Uribe, R. (1974). Autopoiesis: The organization of living systems, its characterization and a model. BioSystems 5: 187–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Whitaker, R. (1996). Autopoiesis and Enaction: The Observer Web. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Köppen
    • 1
  • Javier Ruiz-del-Solar
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Pattern RecognitionFraunhofer IPK-BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Dept. of Electrical Eng.Universidad de ChileSantiagoChile

Personalised recommendations