CS382:Fire

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(General Education Alignment)
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* Analytical Reasoning Requirement  
* Analytical Reasoning Requirement  
** Abstract Reasoning - From the [[http://www.earlham.edu/curriculumguide/academics/analytical.html Catalog Description]] ''Courses qualifying for credit in Abstract Reasoning typically share these characteristics:''
** Abstract Reasoning - From the [[http://www.earlham.edu/curriculumguide/academics/analytical.html Catalog Description]] ''Courses qualifying for credit in Abstract Reasoning typically share these characteristics:''
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*** They focus substantially on properties of classes of abstract models and operations that apply to them.
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*** ''They focus substantially on properties of classes of abstract models and operations that apply to them.''
  **** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
  **** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
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*** They provide experience in generalizing from specific instances to appropriate classes of abstract models.
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*** ''They provide experience in generalizing from specific instances to appropriate classes of abstract models.''
  **** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
  **** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
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*** They provide experience in solving concrete problems by a process of abstraction and manipulation at the abstract level. Typically this experience is provided by word problems which require students to formalize real-world problems in abstract terms, to solve them with techniques that apply at that abstract level, and to convert the solutions back into concrete results.
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*** ''They provide experience in solving concrete problems by a process of abstraction and manipulation at the abstract level. Typically this experience is provided by word problems which require students to formalize real-world problems in abstract terms, to solve them with techniques that apply at that abstract level, and to convert the solutions back into concrete results.''
  **** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
  **** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
** Quantitative Reasoning - From the [[http://www.earlham.edu/curriculumguide/academics/analytical.html Catalog Description]] ''General Education courses in Quantitative Reasoning foster students' abilities to generate, interpret and evaluate quantitative information. In particular, Quantitative Reasoning courses help students develop abilities in such areas as:''
** Quantitative Reasoning - From the [[http://www.earlham.edu/curriculumguide/academics/analytical.html Catalog Description]] ''General Education courses in Quantitative Reasoning foster students' abilities to generate, interpret and evaluate quantitative information. In particular, Quantitative Reasoning courses help students develop abilities in such areas as:''
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*** Using and interpreting formulas, graphs and tables.
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*** ''Using and interpreting formulas, graphs and tables.''
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**** This unit is intended to teach the student how to gather data using a specific tool and analyze that data to come to some conclusion.
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*** ''Representing mathematical ideas symbolically, graphically, numerically and verbally.''
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**** The student will need to create a lab write-up in which they express why they went about collecting the necessary amount of data. They will also need to include examples of said data and an explanation of what conclusion(s) can be drawn from that data.
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** ''Using mathematical and statistical ideas to solve problems in a variety of contexts.''
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**** While this unit deals almost entirely with a single tool, the idea of parameter sweeping is necessary in every form of simulation and is thus applicable in a wide range of contexts.
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*** ''Using simple models such as linear dependence, exponential growth or decay, or normal distribution.''
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**** This wildfire model clearly shows how the number of burned trees is directly dependent on certain features of the forest (density, wetness, etc) and how minor changes in those features can dramatically change the outcome.
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*** ''Understanding basic statistical ideas such as averages, variability and probability.''
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**** At the end of this unit the student should be able to understand that one cannot make sufficiently accurate conclusions about a model with only a single data set.
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*** ''Making estimates and checking the reasonableness of answers.''
  **** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
  **** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
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*** Representing mathematical ideas symbolically, graphically, numerically and verbally.
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*** ''Recognizing the limitations of mathematical and statistical methods.''
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**** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
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*** Using mathematical and statistical ideas to solve problems in a variety of contexts.
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**** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
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*** Using simple models such as linear dependence, exponential growth or decay, or normal distribution.
+
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**** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
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*** Understanding basic statistical ideas such as averages, variability and probability.
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**** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
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*** Making estimates and checking the reasonableness of answers.
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**** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
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*** Recognizing the limitations of mathematical and statistical methods.
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  **** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
  **** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
* Scientific Inquiry Requirement - From the [[http://www.earlham.edu/curriculumguide/academics/scientific.html Catalog Description]] ''Scientific inquiry:''
* Scientific Inquiry Requirement - From the [[http://www.earlham.edu/curriculumguide/academics/scientific.html Catalog Description]] ''Scientific inquiry:''
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** Develops students' understanding of the natural world.
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** ''Develops students' understanding of the natural world.''
  *** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
  *** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
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** Strengthens students' knowledge of the scientific way of knowing — the use of systematic observation and experimentation to develop theories and test hypotheses.
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** ''Strengthens students' knowledge of the scientific way of knowing — the use of systematic observation and experimentation to develop theories and test hypotheses.''
  *** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
  *** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
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** Emphasizes and provides first-hand experience with both theoretical analysis and the collection of empirical data.
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** ''Emphasizes and provides first-hand experience with both theoretical analysis and the collection of empirical data.''
  *** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
  *** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.

Revision as of 17:00, 7 March 2009

Return to Insilico - Discrete Modeling Development

Contents

Fire

Overview

This short unit about the spreading of forest fires is intended to teach some of the basics of using a simple pre-made model/simulation. While there are many benefits to using this model, the ability to physically verify the results proves to be difficult. It turns out that the rudimentary simulation of a wild fire spreading through a forest of varying densities can be implemented in a wide range of tools including NetLogo, AgentSheets, Vensim, Excel, and possibly others. Thus, this single model can teach the basics of simulation techniques like agent modeling, cellular automata, and systems dynamics without requiring students to relearn or rediscover what results to expect and allows them to focus on the methods and the techniques.

Background Reading

For Teachers/TAs

For Students

Reference Material

WildFire Modeling (wikipedia)

Agent-based modeling and simulation of wildland fire suppression

Cellular Automata (wikipedia)

History of Cellular Automata


Lecture Notes

Lecture 1

Lecture 2

Lab

This lab will consist of learning how to use NetLogo's wildfire model to see how minor changes in parameters can, under certain circumstances, producing wildly different results.

The student should first see the tediousness of the process of:

  1. Set the desired parameter to some value
  2. Run the model
  3. Record the proper results into a spreadsheet
  4. Increment the parameter and repeat steps (2-4)

The next step is to learn how to use NetLogo's parameter sweep ("Behavior Space") functionality to automate this process.

Ideally, when they run the manual parameter sweep they'll get results that tell them very little about how the density of the affects how much of it gets burnt. This will stress the importance of taking representative data sets to be able to accurately analyze the model.

A continuation of the lab would be to use one of the extended models (likely written by one of the TAs) and run parameter sweeps to understand how the different features can dramatically change the results.

Software

Bill of Materials

As long as the students don't try to actually burn down a forest to validate these models, there is no cost for this lab.

Evaluation

CRS Questions

  1. A technique called "systematic dynamical conflagration"
  2. Going out back campus and ....
  3. Coding all the properties of wood into a program
  4. A technique called "cellular automata"
  1. Automated Telecomune
  2. Tessellation Automata
  3. Biological Automated Simulation
  4. Systems Dynamics
  1. Stephen Wolfram
  2. John von Neumann
  3. Alan Turing
  4. Stanislaw Ulam

Quiz Questions

Fire Metadata

This section contains information about the goals of the unit and the approaches taken to meet them.

Scheduling

This should be very early in the semester as it is a fairly simple and short topic. Given its simplicity, it should only be a single week.

Concepts and Techniques

This unit should teach the basics of using someone else's model, as well the importance of conducting multiple runs with different parameters in order to gain an accurate understanding of the effect of the model.

General Education Alignment

**** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
**** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
**** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
**** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
**** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
*** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
*** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
*** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.

Scaffolded Learning

Some prose.

Inquiry Based Learning

Some prose.
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