next up previous contents
Next: Organism Death Up: Parallel Programs (Multicellular Organisms) Previous: Fission

The Cost of Multicellularity

The cost of being part of a multicellular organism is governed by the global parameter multicellularity_penalty_factor. That is, for each cell in a multicellular organism, this parameter represents the number of energy tokens that are deducted from that cell's Energy Token Store at each time slice for each additional cell with which it is in contact. For example, if a cell is adjacent to two other cells belonging to the same organism (i.e. there are two cells with which it can exchange regulators and energy tokens), then at each time slice, twice the amount of energy tokens as specified by multicellularity_penalty_factor are deducted from that cell's store. This parameter therefore defines how expensive it is for a cell to maintain a connection with one other cell in a multicellular organism.

Tim Taylor