# Events

## Talk given by Prof. Dr. Kurt Mehlhorn (Max Planck Institut Saarbrücken)

Begin: Tue, 27. of Nov 2012 ( 6:00 PM)Location: Warburger Str. 100, Lecture Hall O2

On November 27, 2012, Prof. Dr. Kurt Mehlhorn will give a talk in the context of the SFB 901 colloquium.

Title: Physarum Computations

Abstract:

Physarum
is a slime mold. It was observed over the past 10 years that the mold
is able to solve shortest path problems and to construct good Steiner
networks (Nakagaki-Yamada-Toth,Tero-Takagi-etal). 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-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 (joint work with Vincenzo Bonifaci and Girish Varma).