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Title: Field theoretic formulation and empirical tracking of spatial processes
Author: Amarteifio, Saoirse
ISNI:       0000 0004 7969 9095
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2019
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Spatial processes are attacked on two fronts. On the one hand, tools from theoretical and statistical physics can be used to understand behaviour in complex, spatially-extended multi-body systems. On the other hand, computer vision and statistical analysis can be used to study 4D microscopy data to observe and understand real spatial processes in vivo. On the rst of these fronts, analytical models are developed for abstract processes, which can be simulated on graphs and lattices before considering real-world applications in elds such as biology, epidemiology or ecology. In the eld theoretic formulation of spatial processes, techniques originating in quantum eld theory such as canonical quantisation and the renormalization group are applied to reaction-di usion processes by analogy. These techniques are combined in the study of critical phenomena or critical dynamics. At this level, one is often interested in the scaling behaviour; how the correlation functions scale for di erent dimensions in geometric space. This can lead to a better understanding of how macroscopic patterns relate to microscopic interactions. In this vein, the trace of a branching random walk on various graphs is studied. In the thesis, a distinctly abstract approach is emphasised in order to support an algorithmic approach to parts of the formalism. A model of self-organised criticality, the Abelian sandpile model, is also considered. By exploiting a bijection between recurrent con gurations and spanning trees, an e cient Monte Carlo algorithm is developed to simulate sandpile processes on large lattices. On the second front, two case studies are considered; migratory patterns of leukaemia cells and mitotic events in Arabidopsis roots. In the rst case, tools from statistical physics are used to study the spatial dynamics of di erent leukaemia cell lineages before and after a treatment. One key result is that we can discriminate between migratory patterns in response to treatment, classifying cell motility in terms of sup/super/di usive regimes. For the second case study, a novel algorithm is developed to processes a 4D light-sheet microscopy dataset. The combination of transient uorescent markers and a poorly localised specimen in the eld of view leads to a challenging tracking problem. A fuzzy registration-tracking algorithm is developed to track mitotic events so as to understand their spatiotemporal dynamics under normal conditions and after tissue damage.
Supervisor: Pruessner, Gunnar Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral