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Entropy 2009, 11(4), 643-666; doi:10.3390/e11040643

The Influence of Shape on Parallel Self-Assembly

1,* , 2, 2 and 1
1 Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Department of Informatics, University of Zurich, Andreasstrasse 15, 8050 Zurich, Switzerland 2 Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, ETH Zurich, Tannenstrasse 3, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 September 2009 / Accepted: 20 October 2009 / Published: 23 October 2009
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Self-assembly is a key phenomenon whereby vast numbers of individual components passively interact and form organized structures, as can be seen, for example, in the morphogenesis of a virus. Generally speaking, the process can be viewed as a spatial placement of attractive and repulsive components. In this paper, we report on an investigation of how morphology, i.e., the shape of components, affects a self-assembly process. The experiments were conducted with 3 differently shaped floating tiles equipped with magnets in an agitated water tank. We propose a novel measure involving clustering coefficients, which qualifies the degree of parallelism of the assembly process. The results showed that the assembly processes were affected by the aggregation sequence in their early stages, where shape induces different behaviors and thus results in variations in aggregation speeds.
Keywords: self-assembly; degree of parallelism; morphology; distributed system self-assembly; degree of parallelism; morphology; distributed system
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Miyashita, S.; Nagy, Z.; Nelson, B.J.; Pfeifer, R. The Influence of Shape on Parallel Self-Assembly. Entropy 2009, 11, 643-666.

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