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Department of Computer Science
Aarhus University
IT-Parken, Aabogade 34
DK-8200 Aarhus N

Phone: +45 8715 4112
Fax: +45 8715 4113

CVR no: 31119103
P no: 1007674542
EAN no: 5798000419841
Budget code: 3202

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Physarum is a slime mold. It was observed over the past 10 years that the mold is able to solve shortest path problems and construct good Steiner networks (Nakagaki, Yamada, Toth, Tero, and Takagi.) In a nutshell, the shortest path experiment is as follows: A maze is built and the mold is made to cover the entire maze. Food is then provided at two positions s and t and the evolution of the slime is observed. Over time, the slime retracts to the shortest s-t-path.

A mathematical model of the slime's dynamic behavior was proposed in 2007 by Tero, Kobayashi, and Nakagaki. Extensive computer simulations of the mathematical model confirm the experimental findings. For the edges on the shortest path, the diameter converges to one, and for the edges off the shortest path, the diameter converges to zero.

We review the wet-lab and the computer experiments and provide a proof for these experimental findings.

A video showing the wet-lab experiment can be found at

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Aarhus University
Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C

Tel: +45 8715 0000
Fax: +45 8715 0201

CVR no: 31119103

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