Symmetry and entropy of biological patterns: Discrete Walsh functions for 2D image analysis

Kazuhito Yamasaki, Kazuyoshi Z. Nanjo, Satoshi Chiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


To quantify symmetry and entropy inherent in the discrete patterns such as spatial self-organization in cell sorting and mussel bed ecosystems, we introduce the discrete Walsh analysis. This analysis enables us to estimate the degree of the complicated symmetry, and to extract the symmetry from the pattern that seems to be asymmetric. The results obtained in this paper are summarized as follows. (I) The geometrical patterns of the cell sorting become systematic with the predominance of the particular symmetry. This implies that not only the entropy but also the particular symmetry can decrease in the biological process. (II) The magnitude of the symmetry is related to the absolute value of the adhesion, and the type of the symmetry is related to the sign of the adhesion. That is, centro-symmetry dominates in the cell sorting pattern caused by large negative adhesion, and double symmetry dominates in the pattern caused by large positive adhesion. (III) Spatial self-organization in mussel bed is accompanied by the decreasing of the centro-symmetry. This implies that the positive " adhesion" between mussel individuals increases with time. (IV) In the biological process, the Curie symmetry breaking occurs at intervals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan


  • Curie symmetry breaking
  • Entropy
  • Image analysis
  • Symmetropy
  • Symmetry
  • Walsh analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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