di Fenizio, Pietro Speroni, Peter Dittrich, and Wolfgang Banzhaf. “Spontaneous formation of proto-cells in an universal artificial chemistry on a planar graph.” In European Conference on Artificial Life , pp. 206-215. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2001.
An artificial chemistry is embedded in a triangular planar graph, that allows the molecules to act only locally along the edges. We observe the formation of effectively separated components in the graph structure. Those components are kept separated by elastic reactions from molecules generated inside the component itself. We interpret those components as self-maintaining proto-cells and the elastic nodes as their proto-membrane. The possibility for these cells to be autopoietic is discussed.