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Collective Dynamics of the Immune System Response: A Cellular Automaton Computational Model

Sauro Succi
Istituto Applicazioni Calcolo, CNR-Roma
Italy Physics Department
University of Roma "La Sapienza", Roma, Italy
December 14, 1999
We discuss the collective dynamics of of the immune system response as described by the Celada-Seiden cellular automaton.
The dynamic nature of affinity maturation, i.e. the learning process behind the Immune System ability to withstand pathogen agents (Antigens) is explored by means of large-scale computer simulations.
These simulations suggest that affinity maturation proceeds through a sequential cascade from low to high-affinity individuals (B-cells) characterized by a definite time-arrow.
The robustness of the 'learning cascade' against parameter changes, such as size of the Immune System repertoire, cell density and presence/absence of somatic hypermutation is discussed and commented on.

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