Speed-accuracy tradeoffs and the construction of transport netowrks
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
One of the key challenges in the study of networks is linking structure to function. For example, how do design requirements about the speed and accuracy with which information is transferred through a network determine its form? We show that different strains of the slime mould Physarum polycephalum form different network structures, ranging from a diffuse network of thin links to a tree-like branching structure. Using a current-reinforced random walk model, we explain these different structures in terms of two model parameters: the strength and the degree of non-linearity in the reinforcement. These parameters are further shown to tune the speed and accuracy with which the network can detect resource gradients. We use a battery of experimental tests to show that Physarum strains with diffuse networks make more accurate but slower decisions and those with thick, trunk branches make faster less accurate decisions. Intermediate structures can also be found which are relatively fast and accurate. The current reinforced random walk employed by the slime mould provides a tunable algorithm for decision-making, which may also apply in other systems where transport networks are constructed.
Behavioral Sciences Biology Other Mathematics
Research subject Mathematics with specialization in Applied Mathematics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-186990OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-186990DiVA: diva2:573547