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Bio-inspired models of computationUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
R.Barbuti, A. Maggiolo Schettini, P. Milazzo

Paun defines "natural computing" as "the general attempt to learn computer science useful ideas, models, paradigms from the way nature computes, in various circumstances where substance and information processing can be interpreted as computations". Classical bio-inspired branches of natural computing are genetic algorithms and neural computing. More recent branches of natural computing are DNA computing and membrane computing. The aim is to find computing models, which are powerful (in comparison with Turing machines and their subclasses), and efficient, namely able to solve computationally hard problems in a feasible time. The purpose of the cycle of seminars is the presentations of bio-inspired models of computation with examples of applications and discussion of perspectives.




Invited seminars:

  • Paolo Milazzo - Universita' di Pisa - -

    Date: 3 April 2009 at 11:00

    Title: Introduction to Bio-inspired models of computation

    Slides: click here

    The seminar will consist of a brief introduction on Bio-inspired models of computation and of a survey on formalisms, results and applications in the field of Membrane Computing. The aim of the seminar is to provide some background notions for the subsequent seminars. References to possible topics for seminars of students will be also presented.
  • Gianluigi Zavattaro - Universita' di Bologna - -

    Date: 17 April 2009 at 11:00

    Title: On the computational strength of Process Calculi for (Bio)Chemistry.

    Slides: click here

    We first discuss the computational strength of CGF, a process calculus equivalent to finite stochastic chemical reaction networks: we show that CGF, even if not Turing complete, allows to approximately model Turing powerful formalisms with any degree of precision. After, we move to BGF and KAPPA, calculi including also a bio-inspired notion of molecule complexation: we present an analysis of these calculi that allowed us to capture basic molecule interaction mechanisms that make these calculi Turing complete.
  • Vincenzo Manca - Universita' di Verona - -

    Date: 24 April 2009 at 11:00

    Title: DNA computing e prospettive di biologia sintetica

    Dopo una breve presentazione dei principali temi di ricerca del "DNA Computing" si illustrano alcune idee che collegano il "DNA computing" a temi emergenti di Biologia sintetica. Secondo tale prospettiva, le logiche sottostanti ai pricipi di organizzazione biologica vengono studiati attraverso sintesi sia computazionali che biotecnologiche di meccanismi vitali. In particolare, si presentano alcuni metodi algoritmici di estrazione e ricombinazione del DNA, che estendono noti protocolli biotecnologici, considerandoli come algoritmi su multinsiemi di doppie stringhe. Quindi, si riportano brevemente alcuni esperimenti di validazione biotecnologica dei metodi proposti e si delineano alcune possibilita' di estensione ed applicazione.
  • Claudio Zandron - Universita' di Milano Bicocca - -

    Date: 5 June 2009 at 11:00

    Title: Computational Complexity Aspects in Membrane Computing

    Slides: click here

    The intrinsic non-deterministic and parallel behaviour of P systems naturally led to the application of this model to approach computationally hard problems. We will give an overview of the principal results of the area, presenting some efficient solutions for NP-complete problems in terms of Membrane systems, and comparing the complexity classes defined in this framework with the standard complexity classes for Turing machines.
  • Matteo Cavaliere - CoSBi Centre Trento - -

    Date: 19 June 2009 at 11:00

    Title: The Observed Complexity of Biological Systems

    Slides: see below

    A closer look at Nature, from an information processing point of view, can also change what we mean by “computation”. In particular, “computing by observing” is a computational paradigm that stresses the role of the observer in natural computation. The idea is that the observed behavior of a biological system can be interpreted as result of a computation. It has been shown that simple systems, observed in a clever manner, can constitute complex computing devices. One can also prove that it is possible to obtain any computing device by only finding the correct observer, without modifying the observed system.

    M. Cavaliere, Computing by Observing: A Brief Survey, Computability in Europe 2008, Logic and Theory of Algorithms, CiE2008, LNCS 5028, Springer, 2008.


Year: 2009
Phd Mauriana Pesaresi SeminarsUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).

Without knowledge sharing there is no difference between research and bureaucracy.

The Ph.D. Mauriana Pesaresi Seminars (formerly Ph.D. Lunchtime Seminars) are weekly meetings aimed at bringing students, researchers and professors together to discuss their work.

The cycle of seminars is dedicated to the memory of our friend and colleague Mauriana Pesaresi, who was one of the former organizers of the seminars.


For phd students, this cycle of seminars is also valid as a seminar credit for the phd degree. Note that:

  • The seminar can be counted as a valid for the credit only once in the three phd years period.
  • In order for the seminar to be valid you need to lecture once and attend at least 7 other seminars of this cycle during the year (January - December)

Seminars will be usually held on Tuesday in the West Seminar Room. Time can be chosen by the speaker, some possibilities are:

  • Brunch-time: 11.30 am
  • Lunch-time: 1 pm
  • Coffee-time: 2 pm

The talks can range from a quite informal style to a formal conference style and should last 30-45 mins, leaving time for discussion.

With respect to the former organization, pizza is no longer provided by default. However, the speaker of the seminar can change organization details, including pizza, panettone, coffee, etc. In such cases the speaker is asked to arrange the extra-features.

We would like to encourage lecturing by  postdocs, researchers and professors. Remeber that no on purpose slides nor extra-work is needed for your seminars.

To reserve a date for your seminar please send an e-mail to Claudio Gallicchio ( or Michele Coscia (, possibly specifying a title and a brief description of your talk.

More info at

Year: 2009