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A Process-Oriented Architecture for Complex System Modelling

Authors: Ritson, Carl G., Welch, Peter H.


A fine-grained massively-parallel process-oriented model of platelets (potentially artificial) within a blood vessel is presented. This is a CSP inspired design, expressed and implemented using the occam-pi language. It is part of the TUNA pilot study on nanite assemblers at the universities of York, Surrey and Kent. The aim for this model is to engineer emergent behaviour fromthe platelets, such that they respond to a wound in the blood vessel wall in a way similar to that found in the human body – i.e. the formation of clots to stem blood flow from the wound and facilitate healing. An architecture for a three dimensional model (relying strongly on the dynamic and mobile capabilities of occam-pi) is given, along with mechanisms for visualisation and interaction. The biological accuracy of the current model is very approximate. However, its process-oriented nature enables simple refinement (through the addition of processes modelling different stimulants/inhibitors of the clotting reaction, different platelet types and other participating organelles) to greater and greater realism. Even with the current system, simple experiments are possible and have scientific interest (e.g. the effect of platelet density on the success of the clotting mechanism in stemming blood flow: too high or too low and the process fails). General principles for the design of large and complex system models are drawn. The described case study runs to millions of processes engaged in ever-changing communication topologies. It is free from deadlock, livelock, race hazards and starvation by design, employing a small set of synchronisation patterns for which we have proven safety theorems.


Communicating Process Architectures 2007, Alistair A. McEwan, Steve Schneider, Wilson Ifill, Peter H. Welch, 2007, pp 249 - 266 published by IOS Press, Amsterdam

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