Weekly Lunch Seminar by Nathanaël Aubert-Kato on February 24

Prof. Nathanaël Aubert-Kato

Prof. Nathanaël Aubert-Kato

Lunch seminar

Lunch seminar

The 3rd Lunch Seminar

We had the third instalment of the weekly lunch seminar by Prof. Aubert-Kato.

As a reminder, the goal of this seminar is to promote the understanding of the research activities done at the Centre, both to the benefit of students and other researchers from the University.


Date and time: Tuesday, February 24th, from 12:20.

Place: Faculty of Science Conference Room (Science Building 3, Room 602)

Speaker: Nathanaël Aubert-Kato (Information Science)

Evolving DNA computing systems that cheat at Rock–Paper–Scissor

Computing is ubiquitous in nature. While we usually understand “computer” as “electronic computer”, many alternatives are present around us, from bee swarming and ant path-finding to chemical reactions. Using different paradigms can allow us to describe complex problems in a more convenient way, or get new insights from apparently similar representations.

One such paradigm is DNA computing, which relies on chemical reactions between DNA molecules to encode computation. In this context, the concentration of the different chemicals represents the “memory” of the program, and the set of possible reactions the code.

Using DNA computing as a new angle, we can investigate the strategies in a game of rock—paper—scissors. The classical game theory result is that all moves should have an equal chance of winning, so that it is possible to play randomly. In DNA computing, this is not quite true: since the “players”, which are chemical reaction networks, are mixed together, they can use indirect interactions to peek at each other’s next move. They can then use this extra information to try to play the winning move. This leads to an evolutionary arms race to be the best cheater.