Surviving In Zombieland

When I hear the phrase "random walk", I remember learning about it in physics in high school, in particular, when trying to imagine how long it might take for a photon to escape from the sun. I never thought about it in relation to the likelihood of encountering zombies.

Physicist Davide Cassi at the UniversitÓ di Parma in Italy hasn't either, although the wording of his paper does seem somewhat suggestive. Here's the summary:

Target annihilation by diffusing particles in inhomogeneous geometries
The survival probability of immobile targets, annihilated by a population of random walkers on inhomogeneous discrete structures, such as disordered solids, glasses, fractals, polymer networks and gels, is analytically investigated. It is shown that, while it cannot in general be related to the number of distinct visited points, as in the case of homogeneous lattices, in the case of bounded coordination numbers its asymptotic behaviour at large times can still be expressed in terms of the spectral dimension, and its exact analytical expression is given. The results show that the asymptotic survival probability is site independent on recurrent structures, while on transient structures it can strongly depend on the target position, and such a dependence is explicitly calculated.

Cassi appears to suggest that you'd be safest from zombies while hiding in a large, complex environment (like a mall), as opposed to the wide open spaces. Since zombies are fictional, of course, you can only watch zombie movies and their characters to see if this approach works out.


(Zombieland movie poster)

So what do math models have to do with science fiction? Take a look at this interesting video about the development of game programs (in this case, Left 4 Dead).

While you're at it, you might want to brush up on the math of zombie attacks, just to be on the safe side.

From Target annihilation by diffusing particles in inhomogeneous geometries via Inside Science; thanks to Moira for the tip. Oh, and don't forget to google the phrase "random walk" to look for interesting articles.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/1/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?' - Richard Morgan, 2003.

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... Setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1938.

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.' - John Brunner, 1975.

We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.' - John Brunner, 1976.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.

Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...'

Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!

China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.

Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.