Lorentz Center - Membrane Computing from 17 Jul 2006 through 21 Jul 2006
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    Membrane Computing
    from 17 Jul 2006 through 21 Jul 2006

At the Crossroads of Cell Biology and Computation
The basic function of biological membranes is to define compartments and to relate compartments to their environment, including neighboring compartments. Membranes allow certain molecules to pass through, e.g., waste products and nutrients. Also, membranes form a communication structure, allowing signals to be received or to be transmitted. The compartmentalization by membranes, with each area having its own set of molecules and reactions, with the transport of molecules and the communication through membranes, is the paradigm underlying membrane computing – see, e.g., [G. P¡aun, Membrane Computing, an Introduction, Natural Computing Series, Springer Verlag, 2002].The original motivation behind membrane computing was not intended to model the functioning of biological membranes. Rather, the motivation was to explore the computational nature (potential) of various features of membranes – i.e., one investigates how such features can be used for the purpose of computing. To this aim, one abstracts from a number of principles underlying the functioning of biological membranes, and uses this abstraction to construct a novel model of computing.Information available at http://psystems.disco.unimib.it/

 Goals of the workshop
We aim at getting a deeper insight into the above research topic. In particular that means to redirect some research in membrane computing into the realm of original biological motivation: the role and the functioning of biological membranes. We want to use the opportunity to strengthen the mutual feedback between biological, dynamical and computational research of basic life processes. In particular, the study of the qualitative behavior of these processes leads to fundamental questions in the theory of dynamical systems and probability theory, which can only be solved in close interaction with computational science.See also http://psystems.disco.unimib.it/wmc2006.html