A biological application of fractal analysis on the World Wide Web

Herbert Jelinek, Anthony P Steinke, Peter Bowdren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Growth modes of biological systems are nonlinear and in many instances said to be fractal. The patterns or forms displayed by different organisms are therefore definable by the fractal dimension. There are a number of fractal analysis programs available. Fractop [21] is a program written in C++ for the World Wide Web. The web site incorporates two programs: the mass-radius method and the cumulative intersection method with an additional option, the convex-hull algorithm for the analysis of non-symmetrical images. The aim of our work was to have a program with a wide accessibility in order to promote a standardisation of methods and to include a method which is sensitive to the "topological" complexity of patterns and forms. Cat retinal ganglion cells were analysed using both the mass-radius (MR) and the cumulative intersection (CI) method incorporated in Fractop. There was no significant difference found between alpha and beta cells. However, using the criterion that a 0.06 difference in the fractal dimension between cell groups constitutes a different cell type, the alpha and beta cells can be separated into two groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalComplexity international : an electronic journal of complex systems research
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996


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