## Parallelism and Time in Hierarchical Self-Assembly ∗

Citations: | 5 - 1 self |

### BibTeX

@MISC{Chen_parallelismand,

author = {Ho-lin Chen and David Doty},

title = {Parallelism and Time in Hierarchical Self-Assembly ∗},

year = {}

}

### OpenURL

### Abstract

We study the role that parallelism plays in time complexity of variants of Winfree’s abstract Tile Assembly Model (aTAM), a model of molecular algorithmic self-assembly. In the “hierarchical ” aTAM, two assemblies, both consisting of multiple tiles, are allowed to aggregate together, whereas in the “seeded ” aTAM, tiles attach one at a time to a growing assembly. Adleman, Cheng, Goel, and Huang (Running Time and Program Size for Self-Assembled Squares, STOC 2001) showed how to assemble an n×n square in O(n) time in log n the seeded aTAM using O ( ) unique tile types, where log log n both of these parameters are optimal. They asked whether the hierarchical aTAM could allow a tile system to use the ability to form large assemblies in parallel before they attach to break the Ω(n) lower bound for assembly time. We show log n that there is a tile system with the optimal O ( ) tile log log n types that assembles an n×n square using O(log 2 n) parallel “stages”, which is close to the optimal Ω(log n) stages, forming the final n×n square from four n/2×n/2 squares, which are themselves recursively formed from n/4 × n/4 squares, etc. However, despite this nearly maximal parallelism, the system requires superlinear time to assemble the square. We extend the definition of partial order tile systems studied by Adleman et al. in a natural way to hierarchical assembly and show that no hierarchical partial order tile system can build any shape with diameter N in less than time Ω(N), demonstrating that in this case the hierarchical model affords no speedup whatsoever over the seeded model. We also strengthen the Ω(N) time lower bound for deterministic seeded systems of Adleman et al. to nondeterministic seeded systems. Finally, we show that for infinitely many n, a tile system can assemble an n × n ′ rectangle, with n> n ′, in time O(n 4/5 log n), breaking the linear-time lower bound that applies to all seeded systems and partial order hierarchical systems. 1