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Distributed Biological Algorithms

Objective

This project proposes a new application for computational reasoning. More specifically, the purpose of this interdisciplinary project is to demonstrate the usefulness of an algorithmic perspective in studies of complex biological systems. We focus on the domain of collective behavior, and demonstrate the benefits of using techniques from the field of theoretical distributed computing in order to establish algorithmic insights regarding the behavior of biological ensembles. The project includes three related tasks, for which we have already obtained promising preliminary results. Each task contains a purely theoretical algorithmic component as well as one which integrates theoretical algorithmic studies with experiments. Most experiments are strategically designed by the PI based on computational insights, and are physically conducted by experimental biologists that have been carefully chosen by the PI. In turn, experimental outcomes will be theoretically analyzed via an algorithmic perspective. By this integration, we aim at deciphering how a biological individual (such as an ant) “thinks”, without having direct access to the neurological process within its brain, and how such limited individuals assemble into ensembles that appear to be far greater than the sum of their parts. The ultimate vision behind this project is to enable the formation of a new scientific field, called algorithmic biology, that bases biological studies on theoretical algorithmic insights.

Call for proposal

ERC-2014-CoG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-COG - Consolidator Grant

Host institution

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
Address
Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris
France
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 1 383 638

Beneficiaries (2)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
France
EU contribution
€ 1 383 638
Address
Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
Israel
EU contribution
€ 511 309
Address
Herzl Street 234
7610001 Rehovot
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments