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Playing Against Nature: Risk Averse Behaviour of Physarum Polycephalum
Laura Pastorino, Chiara Bersani, Svetlana Erokhina, Victor Erokhin and Roberto Sacile

The computational capabilities of the plasmodium of the slime mould Physarum polycephalum were first reported in 2001. Specifically, the ability of this organism to find the minimum-length path between two points in a labyrinth was demonstrated. This Physarum’s ability has been attributed to chemo-attraction to food. More recently, it has been observed that slime moulds can choose conditions most amenable to their survival. Here we show how Physarum develops its route to food under a risk averse behaviour, as a game against nature, which means also choosing paths that are not the shortest ones.

Keywords: Plasmodium, risk averse behaviour, robust control, shortest path problem, physarum polycephalum

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