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A Multiscale Agent-based Model of Morphogenesis in Biological Systems

Sara Montagna, Andrea Omicini, Alessandro Ricci
Studying the complex phenomenon of pattern formation created by the gene expression is a big challenge in the field of developmental biology. This spatial self-organisation autonomously emerges from the morphogenetic processes and the hierarchical organisation of biological systems seems to play a crucial role. Being able to reproduce the systems dynamics at different levels of such a hierarchy might be very useful. In this paper we propose the adoption of the agent-based model as an approach capable of capture multi-level dynamics. Each cell is modelled as an agent that absorbs and releases substances, divides, moves and autonomously regulates its gene expression. As a case study we present an agent-based model of Drosophila melanogaster morphogenesis. We then propose a formalisation of the model which clearly describe its main components. We finally show simulation results demonstrating the capability of the model of reproducing the expression pattern of the embryo.
WOA 2010 — Dagli oggetti agli agenti. Modelli e tecnologie per sistemi complessi: context-dependent, knowledge-intensive, nature-inspired e self-* , CEUR Workshop Proceedings 621, pages 23-29, 5-7 September 2010.
Andrea Omicini, Mirko Viroli (eds.), Sun SITE Central Europe, RWTH Aachen University
@inproceedings{abmmorpho-woa2010,
	Address = {Rimini, Italy},
	Author = {Montagna, Sara and Omicini, Andrea and Ricci, Alessandro},
	Booktitle = {WOA 2010 -- Dagli oggetti agli agenti. Modelli e tecnologie per sistemi complessi: context-dependent, knowledge-intensive, nature-inspired e self-*},
	Editor = {Omicini, Andrea and Viroli, Mirko},
	Issn = {1613-0073},
	Month = {5-7~} # sep,
	Pages = {23--29},
	Pdf-Url = {http://CEUR-WS.org/Vol-621/paper04.pdf},
	Publisher = {Sun SITE Central Europe, RWTH Aachen University},
	ScopusId = {2-s2.0-84868676924},
	Series = {CEUR Workshop Proceedings},
	Title = {A Multiscale Agent-based Model of Morphogenesis in Biological Systems},
	Volume = 621,
	Year = 2010}