Slime mould approximates Malaysian expressways: Is there a bio-logic behind the transport network?

Andrew Adamatzky, Zuwairie Ibrahim, Nor Azlina Ab Aziz, Mohd Saberi Mohamed, Sophan Wahyudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Malaysian expressways network is designed based on human logic, but does the Malaysian transport system have anything in common with biological transport systems? We employ slime mould Physarum polycephalum in our search for an answer. We represent twenty major urban areas in Malaysia with sources of nutrients and inoculate slime mould in Kuala Lumpur. We wait till the slime mould colonises all urban areas and then analyse the network of slime mould’s protoplasmic tubes and compare it with existing transport network of Malaysia. Experiments with Physarum polycephalum shows that the protoplasmic network is largely a super-graph of most famous planar proximity graphs and include a minimum spanning tree. With regards to man-made transport network, the slime mould approximates almost all major transports routes. Our results do not have any immediate engineering applications but shed light onto ‘living logic’ of transport systems and could contribute to future planning of transport networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-31
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Simulation: Systems, Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological transport networks
  • Slime mould
  • Unconventional computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modelling and Simulation


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