Simulation of communication and cooperation in multispecies bacterial communities with an agent based model
Members of bacterial communities communicate and cooperate via diffusible chemical materials they emit into the environment, and at the same time, they also compete for nutrients and space. Agent-based models (ABMs) are useful tools for simulating the growth of communities containing multiple interacting microbial species. In this work we present numerical indices characterizing spatial distribution and the fitness of competing bacterial species in an ABM and we present data on how these indices can be used to visually summarize large scale simulation experiments. Preliminary results show bacterial agents utilizing different nutrients but sharing communication signals and public goods can form stable mixed communities in which the species grow faster than any of the single species alone.