Computer Simulations of Predator-Prey Systems
In recent decades a range of new areas of research have arisen at the interface between computer science and biology. These include computational biology, bioinformatics, evolutionary computing and artificial life. On the one hand, the study of complex biological systems and analysis of large biological datasets require significant computational resources, while on the other hand, biological processes have inspired new approaches to computational problems. Of particular relevance to this project is the fact that the evolutionary dynamics of ecological systems are becoming increasingly amenable to computational modelling.
The focus of this project is on predator-prey models, which can be investigated either by using a mathematical model to investigate the overall predator and prey population dynamics or by implementing computer simulations of organisms in an artificial environment. The goal of this project is to implement simulations of organisms in a 2D environment in order to gain new insights into predator-prey systems. In particular, one objective of the project will be to compare the global behaviour of such a system with that arising from mathematical models such as the Lotka-Volterra equations (or extensions of them). Other objectives will be to investigate: how the behaviours associated with individual organisms affects the global behaviour; the effect of including mutation; and the extent to which the simulations can be scaled up.
The project will also require design and implementation of efficient algorithms, visualizations of the 2D environment, and investigation of how parallel or distributing computing techniques can be utilized.
First Supervisor: McCartney, M Dr
Second Supervisor: Glass, DH Dr
Collaboration: This project does not involve collaboration with another establishment
The increasing power of of computers has progressively allowed more complex biological systems to be modelled. In the is project a mixture of computational and mathematical modelling will be used to investigate large scale predator-prey systems. The resulting large data sets will be mined and represented visually.
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