Morphogenetic Engineering: Reconciling Self-Organization and Architecture

  title={Morphogenetic Engineering: Reconciling Self-Organization and Architecture},
  author={Ren{\'e} Doursat and Hiroki Sayama and Olivier Michel},
  booktitle={Morphogenetic Engineering, Toward Programmable Complex Systems},
Generally, phenomena of spontaneous pattern formation are random and repetitive, whereas elaborate devices are the deterministic product of human design. Yet, biological organisms and collective insect constructions are exceptional examples of complex systems that are both architectured and self-organized. Can we understand their precise self-formation capabilities and integrate them with technological planning? Can physical systems be endowed with information, or informational systems be… 

A review of morphogenetic engineering

Particular emphasis is set on the programmability and computational abilities of self-organization, properties that are often underappreciated in CS science—while, conversely, the benefits of self -organization areoften underapp appreciated in engineering methodologies.

Advances in Embryomorphic Engineering

A new field of research, Morphogenetic Engineering, was established to explore the modeling and implementation of "self-architecturing" systems, with particular emphasis on the programmability and computational abilities of self-organization.

Morphogenesis robot

This paper provides a demonstration of purely self-organizing behaviors to create emergent morphologies in large swarms of real robots without any self-localization, and instead rely entirely on local interactions with neighbors.

Complexity, Development, and Evolution in Morphogenetic Collective Systems

A theoretical classification scheme is proposed that distinguishes four complexity levels of morphogenetic collective systems based on the nature of their components and interactions, and shows that dynamic differentiation/re-differentiation contributed to the development of more diverse structures and behaviors.

Morphogenesis in robot swarms

A demonstration of purely self-organizing behaviors to create emergent morphologies in large swarms of real robots that achieve this collective organization without any self-localization and instead rely entirely on local interactions with neighbors.

Re-membering the body: applications of computational neuroscience to the top-down control of regeneration of limbs and other complex organs.

  • G. PezzuloM. Levin
  • Biology
    Integrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro
  • 2015
It is proposed that target morphology could be encoded within tissues as a kind of memory, using the same molecular mechanisms and algorithms so successfully exploited by the brain, to allow top-down control of growth and form for numerous applications in regenerative medicine and synthetic bioengineering.

A Comprehensive Conceptual and Computational Dynamics Framework for Autonomous Regeneration of Form and Function in Biological Organisms

A comprehensive conceptual framework for the engine of regeneration with hypotheses for the mechanisms and algorithms of stem cell-mediated regeneration that enables a system like the planarian flatworm to fully restore anatomical and bioelectric homeostasis from any small- or large-scale damage.

A comprehensive conceptual and computational dynamics framework for Autonomous Regeneration Systems

A new conceptual and computational dynamics framework for damage detection and regeneration in multicellular structures similar to living animals, which uniquely achieves complete and accurate regeneration from any damage anywhere in the system is presented.



The myriads of Alife: Importing complex systems and self-organization into engineering.

  • R. Doursat
  • Computer Science
    2011 IEEE Symposium on Artificial Life (ALIFE)
  • 2011
A new field of research is proposed, called “Morphogenetic Engineering”, which explores the artificial design and implementation of autonomous systems capable of developing complex, heterogeneous morphologies.

Morphogenetic engineering weds bio self-organization to human-designed systems

Just as other disciplines have worked toward new computing principles using neurons, ants and genes as models, morphogenetic engineering’s purpose is to abstract the behaviour of cells, termites and other natural agents into new principles of heterogeneous, controllable self-assembly.

Programmable self-assembly using biologically-inspired multiagent control

This paper presents a programming language that species a robust process for shape formation on a sheet of identically programed agents, by combining local organization primitives from epithelial

Bluenome: A Novel Developmental Model of Artificial Morphogenesis

The Bluenome model is cast as a general model, one which generates organizational topologies for finite sets of component types, assuming only local interactions between components, implying its potential application in high-dimensional evolutionary problems.

Evolving 3D Morphology and Behavior by Competition

This article describes a system for the evolution and coevolution of virtual creatures that compete in physically simulated three-dimensional worlds that can adapt to each other as they evolve simultaneously.

A theory of biological pattern formation

It is shown that relatively simple molecular mechanisms based on auto- and cross catalysis can account for a primary pattern of morphogens to determine pattern formation of the tissue, and the theory is applied to quantitative data on hydra and is shown to account for activation and inhibition of secondary head formation.

Evolving Morphologies of Simulated 3d Organisms Based on Differential Gene Expression

The result showed that the shaping of multi cellular organisms in d is possible with the proposed model and the reduction of the information needed in the genome to encode shapes or cell types which results in scaling behavior of the system.

A Taxonomy for Artificial Embryogeny

This taxonomy provides a unified context for long-term research in AE, so that implementation decisions can be compared and contrasted along known dimensions in the design space of embryogenic systems, and allows predicting how the settings of various AE parameters affect the capacity to efficiently evolve complex phenotypes.

Folding DNA to create nanoscale shapes and patterns

This work describes a simple method for folding long, single-stranded DNA molecules into arbitrary two-dimensional shapes, which can be programmed to bear complex patterns such as words and images on their surfaces.