Sept. 6, 2018, 10:15 a.m.

Title: Towards a Theory of Mixing Graphs: A Characterization of Perfect Mixability
Authors: Marek Chrobak and Miguel Coviello Gonzalez
Speaker: Marek Chrobak
Time and place: Thursday, 6th of September 2018, 10:15 am, room 310.

Some microfluidic lab-on-chip devices contain modules whose function is to mix two fluids, called reactant and buffer, in some desired proportions. In one of the technologies for fluid mixing the process can be represented by a directed acyclic graph whose nodes represent micro-mixers and edges represent micro-channels. A micro-mixer has two input channels and two output channels; it receives two fluid droplets, one from each input, mixes them perfectly, and produces two droplets of the mixed fluid on its output channels. Such a mixing graph converts a set I of input droplets into a set T of output droplets, where the droplets are specified by their reactant concentrations. A set T of droplets is called producible if it can be produced from a set I of pure reactant and buffer droplets by some mixing graph. The most fundamental algorithmic question related to mixing graphs is to determine whether a given target set T of droplets is producible. While the complexity of this problem remains open, we provide a solution to the related perfect mixability problem, in which we ask whether, given a collection C of droplets, there is a mixing graph that mixes C perfectly, producing only droplets whose concentration is the average concentration of C. We provide a complete characterization of such perfectly mixable sets and an efficient algorithm for testing perfect mixability.