Item description for Immunity-Based Systems by Yoshiteru Ishida...
This book presents a framework for communication intensive autonomous agents inspired from the immune system. With the rapid increase of computational power and networking technology similarity between computer and biological systems may now practically work. The framework presented fills the need to guide the implementation of such a "biological" system. It is described in detail focusing on the field of diagnosis and control. Several sample applications and simulations are presented.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 9.25" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date May 27, 2004
ISBN 3540008969 ISBN13 9783540008965
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Reviews - What do customers think about Immunity-Based Systems?
Review from my BeBoBio groups page Feb 11, 2008
My review taken from the BeBoBio groups page: http://groups.google.com/group/bebobio?hl=en
In this book the author looks at ways the the immune system can act as a paradigm in the design of information processing systems. From what I can gather, the book is primarily oriented towards designing computer control systems and information management systems that can react to failures of individual hardware components or attack by malicious code. From my point of view, this is the almost opposite view of what I'm interested in, namely, using an information processing system to predictively model an organism (or a component thereof).
Therein lies the beauty of it! It seems that computer science and the biological sciences have so far developed independently, and yet curiously moved closer to each other. Biology becomes a data driven science, and computers become complex systems with emergent behavior. All that is needed is the final few pieces to fall in place to link the two in a seamless unity, one which we can use to discover the deep laws of biology. In Immunity-based Systems the approach is from the computer science side.
The book relies on the concept of the idiotypic network, which from what I can gather is a somewhat outdated and discarded model of immune system regulation. It does interest me though, and I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't some grain of truth to it.
Here's one interesting tidbit from early in the book:
"Physical systems have a concept, such as heat, that can be defined on an upper hierarchical level as a macro measure obtained by averaging over states at a lower level. It is difficult to find such a macro concept or measure in biological systems. One reason why a macro concept is lacking in biology is the difficulty of understanding biological systems in terms of hierarchy alone, since biological systems have a recursive structure (as the "self-reference" found in self-reproduction in biological systems). Therefore, information flow is neither unidirectional nor fixed in direction like most of the hierarchies found in physical systems. A hierarchical view view does not suffice for biological systems, a recursive view is needed." Page 9
I'm not going to lie, this book is expensive and although short (<200 pages), it is quite dense. There's a fair bit of math, philosophy of systems, and computer science that I really didn't get. If you stick with it though, I think there are quite a few valuable insights to be had. I will be reading this one again.