Self-organizing particle systems

Malte Harder, D. Polani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


The self-organization of cells into a living organism is a very intricate process. Under the surface of orchestrating regulatory networks there are physical processes which make the information processing possible, that is required to organize such a multitude of individual entities. We use a quantitative information theoretic approach to assess self-organization of a collective system. In particular, we consider an interacting particle system, that roughly mimics biological cells by exhibiting differential adhesion behavior. Employing techniques related to shape analysis, we show that these systems in most cases exhibit self-organization. Moreover, we consider spatial constraints of interactions, and additionaly show that particle systems can self-organize without the emergence of pattern-like structures. However, we will see that regular pattern-like structures help to overcome limitations of self-organization that are imposed by the spatial structure of interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1250089
Number of pages24
JournalAdvances in Complex Systems
Issue number2-3
Early online date22 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


  • information theory
  • morphogenesis
  • Self-organization


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