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Published on Feb 21, 2011
Andrew Adamatzky and Selim G. Akl, "Trans-Canada Slimeways: Slime mould imitates the Canadian transport network", May 2011.
Slime mould Physarum polycephalum builds up sophisticated networks to transport nutrients between distant part of its extended body. The slime mould's protoplasmic network is optimised for maximum coverage of nutrients yet minimum energy spent on transportation of the intra-cellular material. In laboratory experiments with P. polycephalum we represent Canadian major urban areas with rolled oats and inoculated slime mould in the Toronto area. The plasmodium spans the urban areas with its network of protoplasmic tubes. We uncover similarities and differences between the protoplasmic network and the Canadian national highway network, analyse the networks in terms of proximity graphs and evaluate slime mould's network response to contamination.