Modelling tools of the Virtual Plant Network Wageningen

L-systems and L-Studio

L-systems (Lindenmayer systems) were developed by the botanist A. Lindenmayer in the 1960s (Lindenmayer, 1968). L-systems are a mathematical tool to model plant development and structure that are derived from formal grammars for string generation. These basic generation algorithms produce output that can be graphically displayed by 3D rendering engines such as VRML or ray tracers (thus introducing yet a third discipline, computer graphics, into this multidisciplinary area of research). L-systems permit the modelling of the influence of outside environmental forces, such as moisture, wind, and sunlight through input parameters.

The L-studio platform is commercially available, see

Relational Growth Grammars, eXtended L-Systems and GroIMP

Based on the experience made with the L-system interpreting software GROGRA, an extension of the L-system formalism, Relational Growth Grammars (RGG), has been developed at Cottbus University of Technology, Germany, and implemented in the form of the Java-based modelling language XL (eXtended L-systems). XL is currently available as a plugin to the free, open-source interactive modelling platform GroIMP.

Based on the more general approach of graph rewriting (versus string rewriting as used in conventional L-systems), RGG overcome the structural restrictions of L-systems and allow the dynamic simulation of more complex structures and phenomena such as regulatory networks, interacting molecules or members of a population, and generally multiscaled representations of the same system. A powerful query language permits the analysis of simulated structures

For details on GroIMP see and SourceForge.