Winfree's abstract Tile Assembly Model (aTAM) is a model of molecular self-assembly of DNA complexes known as tiles, which float freely in solution and attach one at a time to a growing "seed" assembly based on specific binding sites on their four sides. We show that there is a polynomial-time algorithm that, given an n x n square, finds the minimal tile system (i.e., the system with the smallest number of distinct tile types) that uniquely self-assembles the square, answering an open question of Adleman, Cheng, Goel, Huang, Kempe, Moisset de Espanes, and Rothemund ("Combinatorial Optimization Problems in Self-Assembly", STOC 2002). Our investigation leading to this algorithm reveals other positive and negative results about the relationship between the size of a tile system and its "temperature" (the binding strength threshold required for a tile to attach).
- Pub Date:
- November 2010
- Computer Science - Computational Complexity;
- Computer Science - Data Structures and Algorithms
- The previous version contained more sections, but we have split that paper into two. The other half will be posted as a separate paper