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Polyphorm: Nature-inspired reconstruction and visualization of transport networks

by Dr Oskar Elek (UC Santa Cruz)

Abstract: Polyphorm is an open-source software inspired by the growth of Physarum polycephalum also known as 'slime mold'. It is capable of reconstructing and visualizing complex 3D networks implicitly traced by large sparse point datasets. With the help of this software, our team has constructed the first density map of the Cosmic web, a network-like structure formed by the intergalactic medium and dark matter. We have also uncovered initial evidence that natural language might contain similar structures. This talk will describe the underlying methodology and review the main scientific results. I will also discuss the plans for the future extension of Polyphorm called 'PolyPhy' capable of reconstructing such networks from high-dimensional data, where your feedback would be highly appreciated.
Bio: Dr. Oskar Elek is a computational researcher at the University of California in Santa Cruz, and an incubator fellow at the UCSC Center for Research in Open Source Software. He holds a PhD from Max Planck Institut Informatik in Germany. His past work involves physically based rendering, volumetric optics, and computational fabrication. Currently, Oskar focuses on developing nature inspired models and their application to visualizing and interpreting data from astronomy as well as other domains. You can find more details about his work at
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