Toward Computing with Spider Webs: Computational Setup Realization

Hadi Sadati, Thomas Williams

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

2 Citations (Scopus)
267 Downloads (Pure)


Spiders are able to extract crucial information, such as the location prey, predators, mates, and even broken threads from propagating web vibrations. The complex structure of the web suggests that the morphology itself might provide computational support in form of a mechanical signal processing system - often referred to as morphological computation. We present preliminary results on identifying these computational aspects in naturally spun webs. A recently presented definition for physical computational systems, consisting of three main elements: (i) a mathematical part, (ii) a computational setup with a theoretical and real part, and (iii) an interpretation, is employed for the first time, to characterize these morphological computation properties. Signal transmission properties of a real spider orb web, as the real part of a morphological computation setup, is investigated in response to step transverse inputs. The parameters of a lumped system model, as the theoretical part of a morphological computation setup, are identified empirically and with the help of an earlier FEM model for the same web. As the possible elements of a computational framework, the web transverse signal filtering, attenuation, delay, memory effect, and deformation modes are briefly discussed based on experimental data and numerical simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomimetic and Biohybrid Systems
Subtitle of host publication7th International Conference, Living Machines 2018, Paris, France, July 17–20, 2018, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783319959726
ISBN (Print)9783319959719
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


  • Morphological Computation
  • Spider Web
  • Vibration
  • Lumped System Model
  • Signal Processing

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