Information Processing with Structured Chemical Excitable Medium
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It is well known that an excitable medium can be used for information processing with pulses of excitation. In such medium messages can be coded or in the number of pulses or in the sequences of times separating subsequent excitations. Information is processed as the result of two major effects: interactions between pulses and interactions between a pulse and the environment. The properties of excitable medium provide us with a number of features remaining those characterizing biological information processing. For example, pulses of excitation appear as the result of an external stimulus and they can propagate in a homogeneous medium with a constant velocity and a stationary shape dissipating medium energy.
In the paper we focus our attention on a quite specific type of nonhomogeneous medium that has intentionally introduced geometrical structure of regions characterized by different excitability levels. Considering numerical simulations based on simple reaction-diffusion models and experiments with Bielousov-Zhabotinsky reaction we show that in information processing applications the geometry plays equally important role as the dynamics of the medium. A chemical realization of simple information processing devices like logical gates or memory cells are presented. Combining these devices as building blocks we can perform complex signal processing operations like, for example, excitation counting. We also demonstrate that a structured excitable medium can perform sensing functions because it is able to determine a distance separating observer from the source or sense the rate of changes in excitability level. Talking about the perspectives we present ideas for programming information processing medium with excitation pulses.
KeywordsInformation processing excitability BZ-reaction Oregonator
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