An attempt to re-create the structures and processes of life is immensely appealing to the imagination, balancing on the frontier between science and fiction. Known results [Langton 19881 range from the design of self-reproducing genetic messages to the replication of social behavior of animals. Between these extremes lie models of self-assembling viruses and simulations of multicellular organism development. As in physically-based modeling, where an astonishing degree of realism has been obtained by adhering to the fundamental laws of physics, realistic models of living structures can be produced by referring to biological mechanisms of development. The challenge of biologically-based modeling is reinforced by the fact that biological laws are often expressed qualitatively, without providing enough detail to construct a definitive model. Consequently, an attempt to simulate reality brings an insight into the nature of the underlying biological processes and structures. In this article we outline our recent results related to the modeling of plants and simulation of their development. Many of these results were obtained in cooperation with Professor Lindenmayer and his students from the Theoretical Biology Group at the University of Utrecht. Technical details are presented in a paper by Prusinkiewicz, Lindenmayer and Hanan .
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