Andreas Deutsch, Stefan Diez, Dirk Helbing, Yannis Kalaidzikis, Karsten Peters

Paper #: 09-10-041

The growth of world population, limitation of resources, economic problems and environmental issues force engineers to develop increasingly efficient solutions for logistic systems. Pure optimization for efficiency, however, has often led to technical solutions that are vulnerable to variations in supply and demand, and to perturbations. In contrast, nature already provides a large variety of efficient, flexible and robust logistic solutions. Can we utilize biological principles to design systems, which can flexibly adapt to hardly predictable, fluctuating conditions? We propose a bio-inspired “BioLogistics” approach to deduce dynamic organization processes and principles of adaptive self-control from biological systems, and to transfer them to man-made logistics (including nanologistics), using principles of modularity, self-assembly, self-organization, and decentralized coordination. Conversely, logistic models can help revealing the logic of biological processes at the systems level.