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Keywords:

  • network dynamics;
  • spatiotemporal noise;
  • cellular automata;
  • majority task

Abstract

Understanding self-organized collective dynamics—especially in sparsely connected, noisy, and imperfect networks—has important implications for designing and optimizing task-performing technological systems as well as for deciphering biological structures and functions. We note that stomatal arrays on plant leaves might provide an ideal example of task-performance in this context. Guided by observations of stomatal networks, we examined a simple model of task-performing, collective dynamics that included state noise, spatial rule heterogeneity, dynamic modules, and network rewiring. Our results indicate that task-performance in such networks can actually be enhanced by various kinds of spatial and temporal irregularity. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Complexity 12: 14–21, 2007