Topology and Local Geometry of the Eden Model
Benjamin Schweinhart, George Mason University
The Eden cell growth model is a simple discrete stochastic process which produces a "blob" in Rd: start with one cube in the regular grid, and at each time step add a neighboring cube uniformly at random. This process has been used as a model for the growth of aggregations, tumors, and bacterial colonies and the healing of wounds, among other natural processes. Here, we study the topology and local geometry of the resulting structure, establishing asymptotic bounds for Betti numbers. Our main result is that the Betti numbers at time t grow at a rate between t(d-1)/d and Pd(t), where Pd(t) is the size of the site perimeter. Assuming a widely believed conjecture, this establishes the rate of growth of the Betti numbers in every dimension. We also present the results of computational experiments on finer aspects of the geometry and topology, such as persistent homology and the distribution of shapes of holes.
This research is joint work with Fedor Manin and Érika Roldán.