Self-Organizing Particle Systems (SOPS)

Self-Organizing Particle Systems (SOPS) is an abstraction of programmable matter, a substance with the ability to change its physical properties (shape, density, conductivity, etc.) in a programmable fashion. In order for programmable matter to live up to the dream of being an all-purpose "bucket of stuff" deployable for any task at any scale, we need a rich toolbox of algorithmic primitives upon which we can program more complex behaviors. Although the eventual vision is to control a whole mass of programmable matter as a single entity, our toolbox of primitives should be defined at the level of individual "atoms" of programmable matter to enable arbitrary scalability. Thus, we must take a distributed computing approach to defining micro-scale behaviors that collectively induce macro-scale phenomena.

Towards this goal, self-organizing particle systems abstractly envision programmable matter as an ensemble of tiny computational units called particles. These particles are assumed to be very simple: they have very limited memory, no sense of orientation or direction, and only local movement and communication capabilities. Our formal model for these particle systems is the amoebot model, which provides a theoretical framework for developing and analyzing our distributed algorithms for particle systems.

Andréa W. Richa
Andréa W. Richa
Professor of Computer Science
Christian Scheideler
Christian Scheideler
Professor of Computer Science
Joshua J. Daymude
Joshua J. Daymude
Assistant Professor, Computer Science

I am a Christian and assistant professor in computer science studying collective emergent behavior and programmable matter through the lens of distributed computing, stochastic processes, and bio-inspired algorithms. I also love gaming and playing music.

Erik D. Demaine
Erik D. Demaine
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Irina Kostitsyna
Irina Kostitsyna
Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
Matthew J. Patitz
Matthew J. Patitz
Professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering
John Calvin Alumbaugh
John Calvin Alumbaugh
PhD Student, Computer Science
Joseph L. Briones
Joseph L. Briones
PhD Student, Computer Science
Kristian Hinnenthal
Kristian Hinnenthal
PhD Student, Computer Science
Jamison W. Weber
Jamison W. Weber
PhD Student, Computer Science
Robert Gmyr
Robert Gmyr
Research Software Development Engineer
Thim Strothmann
Thim Strothmann
Senior Researcher and Project Manager
Zahra Derakhshandeh
Zahra Derakhshandeh
PhD, Computer Science
Alexandra Porter
Alexandra Porter
PhD Student, Computer Science
Tishya Chhabra
Tishya Chhabra
High School Research Assistant

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