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Pages 35-42
First published 2 September 2013

Cell Division Behaviour in a Heterogeneous Swarm Environment

Adam Erskine, J. Michael Herrmann


We present a system of virtual particles that interact using simple kinetic rules. It is known that heterogeneous mixtures of particles are producing particularly interesting behaviours. Here we present a two-species swarm in which a behaviour emerges that resembles cell division. We show that the dividing behaviour exists across a narrow but finite band of parameters and for a wide range of population sizes. In a two dimensional environment the swarm's characteristics and dynamism manifests differently from those observable in a three dimensional environment. In further experiments we show that repeated divisions can occur if the system is extended by a biased equilibrium process to control the split of populations. We propose this repeated division behaviour provides a simple model for cell division mechanisms, which relates to discussions of the origin of life and is of interest for the formation of morphological structure and to swarm robotics.