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 |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
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.
The Neuroon Open Sleep Tracker For Lucid Dreaming
'Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer on the bedside shelf.' - Peter Watts, 1999.
'Do Not Pay' Chatbots To Replace Law Firm Associates?
'I want my lawyer program.' - David Brin, 1990.
Translate One2One From IBM's Watson Your Communication Solution
'It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix...' - Douglas Adams, 1979.
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.
Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'
Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.
Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'
NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.
Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'
SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'
Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'
Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'
Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.
Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?
Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''
China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'
iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.
Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'
Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.
RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories