The living cell as a multi-agent organisation: A compositional organisation model of intracellular dynamics
Within the areas of Computational Organisation Theory and Artificial Intelligence, techniques have been developed to simulate and analyse dynamics within organisations in society. Usually these modelling techniques are applied to factories and to the internal organisation of their process flows, thus obtaining models of complex organisations at various levels of aggregation. The dynamics in living cells are often interpreted in terms of well-organised processes, a bacterium being considered a (micro)factory. This suggests that organisation modelling techniques may also benefit their analysis. Using the example of Escherichia coli it is shown how indeed agent-based organisational modelling techniques can be used to simulate and analyse E.coli's intracellular dynamics. Exploiting the abstraction levels entailed by this perspective, a concise model is obtained that is readily simulated and analysed at the various levels of aggregation, yet shows the cell's essential dynamic patterns. © 2010 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.