CS382:Fire

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Respect all of the structure and labels when you adopt this template. 
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= Fire =  
= Fire =  
== Overview ==
== 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.
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.
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== Background Reading ==
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== Background Reading for Teachers and TAs ==
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=== For Teachers/TAs ===
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[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildfire_modeling WildFire Modeling (wikipedia)]<br />
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildfire_modeling WildFire Modeling (wikipedia)]<br />
* Geared a little bit towards the teachers and upper end students. Meant largerly as an intro into ''what'' we're looking at.
* Geared a little bit towards the teachers and upper end students. Meant largerly as an intro into ''what'' we're looking at.
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* Much more so geared towards the teachers than students. This is a fairly technical article and is meant to give an overview of an Agent-Based version of wildfires.
* Much more so geared towards the teachers than students. This is a fairly technical article and is meant to give an overview of an Agent-Based version of wildfires.
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=== For Students ===
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== Reading Assignments for Students ==
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[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellular_automata Cellular Automata (wikipedia)]<br />
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellular_automata Cellular Automata (wikipedia)]<br />
* Parts of this article are fairly technical and mathematical, however I think there's a lot of good information here. Perhaps we could write up a summary.
* Parts of this article are fairly technical and mathematical, however I think there's a lot of good information here. Perhaps we could write up a summary.
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== Reference Material ==
== Reference Material ==
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== Lecture Notes ==  
== Lecture Notes ==  
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* <font color="blue">Might want to start with a here's where we're going with this before starting about specifics of the wildfire model, esp. since this is their first unit out of foundations and they don't have a basis for the structure of a unit.</font>
 
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'''Lecture 1'''
'''Lecture 1'''
* Brief cover of wildfires, to understand the basics of what we're going to try to model
* Brief cover of wildfires, to understand the basics of what we're going to try to model
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*** Duration of Burning: where burning trees may stay burning longer
*** Duration of Burning: where burning trees may stay burning longer
** As with density, tuning these "knobs" can produce different behaviors
** As with density, tuning these "knobs" can produce different behaviors
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<font color="blue">Some "why we care" to tie it back together at the end, like how we can use it for estimating and planning, would be nice.</font>
 
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== Lab ==  
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== 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.
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.
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The student should first see the tediousness of the process of:
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The structure of this lab is loosely based on [http://wiki.sc-education.org/images/b/bd/BobsFire.doc this].
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# Set the desired parameter to some value
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# Run the model
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# Record the proper results into a spreadsheet
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# Increment the parameter and repeat steps (2-4)
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The next step is to learn how to use NetLogo's parameter sweep ("Behavior Space") functionality to automate this process.
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==== Process ====
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# Open up NetLogo. Go to the model library and under the Geosciences category, open "Fire".
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# Experiment with different values for the density.
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#
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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.
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==== Write-up ====
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* Required elements
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* Visualization opportunities
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* Optional elements
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* Provide a template for the first couple of labs ala CS128?
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Use this exercise to illustrate 3 points in a range (looks linear) compared to 8 points (the true sigmoid shape is revealed).  Notion of a critical parameter.
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==== Software ====  
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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.
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==== Software ====
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* [[http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/ NetLogo]] version 4.0
* [[http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/ NetLogo]] version 4.0
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== Evaluation ==  
== Evaluation ==  
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==== CRS Questions ====  
==== CRS Questions ====  
* Which of these is a reasonable method for simulating Wild Fires?
* Which of these is a reasonable method for simulating Wild Fires?
# A technique called "systematic dynamical conflagration"
# A technique called "systematic dynamical conflagration"
# Going out back campus and ....
# Going out back campus and ....
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# Coding all the properties of wood into a program
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# Coding the all properties of trees into a computer program
# '''A technique called "cellular automata"'''
# '''A technique called "cellular automata"'''
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<font color="blue">This one might be a bit facetious.  :P </font>
 
* What is another name for "Cellular Automata"?
* What is another name for "Cellular Automata"?
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==== Quiz Questions ====  
==== Quiz Questions ====  
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* A question.
 
= Fire Metadata =  
= Fire Metadata =  
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== Concepts and Techniques ==  
== Concepts and Techniques ==  
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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. <font color="blue">Also VVA, if we're talking about how this model isn't a good indicator of real life. And don't forget cellular automata.</font>
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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. The WildFire model used in this unit provides a brief introduction to the concepts of VVA (Verification/Validation/Accreditation). Specifically, a rough notion of how a WildFire spreads can be obtained using this model, but it should be stressed that this model is nowhere near accurate when compared to one would actually happen.
== General Education Alignment ==
== General Education Alignment ==
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=== Analytical Reasoning Requirement ===
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* Analytical Reasoning Requirement  
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==== Abstract Reasoning ====
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** 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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* 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.''
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**** This unit deals almost entirely will quantitative reasoning, and would be hard to expand into the abstract world.
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*** This unit deals almost entirely will quantitative reasoning, and would be hard to expand into the abstract world.
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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.''
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**** Parameter sweeping (one of the primary goals of this unit) can be used in almost every instance of computational simulations. In this sense it can be expanded from this specific model to others, yet it is more of a quantitative method of analysis than it is abstract.
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*** Parameter sweeping (one of the primary goals of this unit) can be used in almost every instance of computational simulations. In this sense it can be expanded from this specific model to others, yet it is more of a quantitative method of analysis than it is abstract.
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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.''
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  **** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
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  *** Analysis of this unit's support or not for this item.
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** 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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[[Image:Goldstar.png|right|thumb|Nice work!]]
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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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==== Quantitative Reasoning ====
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*** Representing mathematical ideas symbolically, graphically, numerically and verbally.
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* 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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**** 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 and interpreting formulas, graphs and tables.''
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*** Using mathematical and statistical ideas to solve problems in a variety of contexts.
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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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**** 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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** ''Representing mathematical ideas symbolically, graphically, numerically and verbally.''
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*** Using simple models such as linear dependence, exponential growth or decay, or normal distribution.
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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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**** 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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** ''Using mathematical and statistical ideas to solve problems in a variety of contexts.''
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*** Understanding basic statistical ideas such as averages, variability and probability.
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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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**** 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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** ''Using simple models such as linear dependence, exponential growth or decay, or normal distribution.''
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*** Making estimates and checking the reasonableness of answers.
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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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**** In the beginning of the lab portion of this unit, the student should take a guess at what the result will be when the density of the forest is varied. After running a number of trials, they should be able to easily assess the accuracy of they're answer as well as the reasonableness of their results from the lab.
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** ''Understanding basic statistical ideas such as averages, variability and probability.''
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*** Recognizing the limitations of mathematical and statistical methods.
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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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**** The student should clearly note that this model of wildfires is far from indicative of how they actually happen. It should be stressed that this model is simply proof of concept for showing the profound effect a single variable can have on the overall results.
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** ''Making estimates and checking the reasonableness of answers.''
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* Scientific Inquiry Requirement - From the [[http://www.earlham.edu/curriculumguide/academics/scientific.html Catalog Description]] ''Scientific inquiry:''
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*** In the beginning of the lab portion of this unit, the student should take a guess at what the result will be when the density of the forest is varied. After running a number of trials, they should be able to easily assess the accuracy of they're answer as well as the reasonableness of their results from the lab.
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** Develops students' understanding of the natural world.
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** ''Recognizing the limitations of mathematical and statistical methods.''
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*** The student should clearly note that this model of wildfires is far from indicative of how they actually happen. It should be stressed that this model is simply proof of concept for showing the profound effect a single variable can have on the overall results. <font color="blue">En serio, it's not indicative at all?  As in no VVA?</font>
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-
 
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=== Scientific Inquiry Requirement ===
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* 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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*** After the completion of this unit, the student should understand the world's dependence on a surprisingly small number of variables even though this model is far from accurate.
*** After the completion of this unit, the student should understand the world's dependence on a surprisingly small number of variables even though this model is far from accurate.
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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.
*** The entirety of this lab is to change a variable, observe the results, and repeat, eventually leading to having enough data to make reasonable theories on the model.
*** The entirety of this lab is to change a variable, observe the results, and repeat, eventually leading to having enough data to make reasonable theories on the model.
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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.
*** The lab portion of this unit is exactly this: gathering numerical data in order to provide the basis for some sort of conclusion.
*** The lab portion of this unit is exactly this: gathering numerical data in order to provide the basis for some sort of conclusion.
== Scaffolded Learning ==
== Scaffolded Learning ==
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The NetLogo model(s) in question are easy to use and easy to witness the effect of changing parameters to obtain different results. As well there are fairly clear extensions for the student inclined towards taking those steps. <font color="blue">It would be nice if we had a set of extension questions for students interested in going further.  Possibly trying to get certain situations to occur (a larger percentage of the time) by changing different variables.  Or just trying to get certain situations to occur.</font>
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The NetLogo model(s) in question are easy to use and easy to witness the effect of changing parameters to obtain different results. As well there are fairly clear extensions for the student inclined towards taking those steps.
== Inquiry Based Learning ==  
== Inquiry Based Learning ==  
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This unit should be able to pique the curiosity of the student, most likely in the form of the question: "Why is that that a single variable can have such a dramatic effect on the output of a system?" <font color="blue">I think there's also a lot to be said that the entire lab is based on tweaking parameters and so seeing what happens with different experiments.</font>
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This unit should be able to pique the curiosity of the student, most likely in the form of the question: "Why is that that a single variable can have such a dramatic effect on the output of a system?"
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= To Do =
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= <The Unit's Name> Mechanics =
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* Look at this: http://wiki.sc-education.org/images/b/bd/BobsFire.doc
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== To Do ==
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* Better CRS questions are needed.
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* Quiz questions are needed.
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= Comments =
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== Comments ==
* <font color="blue">You have all of the required stuff for background reading but the template has shifted, just make sure you update it.</font>
* <font color="blue">You have all of the required stuff for background reading but the template has shifted, just make sure you update it.</font>
** Will redo with the new Lab template
** Will redo with the new Lab template
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* <font color="blue">If we did some graphing with the results, that could strengthen this point.  I don't know how much time we would have to teach them and what software though.  Maybe bring this up in class or with Charlie.</font>
* <font color="blue">If we did some graphing with the results, that could strengthen this point.  I don't know how much time we would have to teach them and what software though.  Maybe bring this up in class or with Charlie.</font>
** The plan would be to have results graphed in Excel/<some spreadsheet>
** The plan would be to have results graphed in Excel/<some spreadsheet>
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* <font color="blue">Might want to start with a here's where we're going with this before starting about specifics of the wildfire model, esp. since this is their first unit out of foundations and they don't have a basis for the structure of a unit.</font>
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** Will address in rewrite of lecture notes
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* <font color="blue">Some "why we care" to tie it back together at the end, like how we can use it for estimating and planning, would be nice.</font>
 +
** Will address in rewrite of lecture notes
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* <font color="blue">This one might be a bit facetious.  :P </font>
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** Possibly, but I don't believe the answer is immediately obvious from a first-year student. The point of the question is to introduce cellular automata, something ''very'' few college freshmen are going to have heard about before.
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* <font color="blue">Also VVA, if we're talking about how this model isn't a good indicator of real life. And don't forget cellular automata.</font>
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** Briefly addressed. Will elaborate more when this section gets rewritten.
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* <font color="blue">It would be nice if we had a set of extension questions for students interested in going further.  Possibly trying to get certain situations to occur (a larger percentage of the time) by changing different variables.  Or just trying to get certain situations to occur.</font>
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** I agree.
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* <font color="blue">I think there's also a lot to be said that the entire lab is based on tweaking parameters and so seeing what happens with different experiments.</font>
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** That is in fact the gist behind the question I pose in the Inquiry Based Learning section.
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= Authorship =
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* Fitz

Revision as of 00:49, 27 March 2009

Return to Insilico - Discrete Modeling Development

Respect all of the structure and labels when you adopt this template.


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 and TAs

WildFire Modeling (wikipedia)

Agent-based modeling and simulation of wildland fire suppression

Reading Assignments for Students

Cellular Automata (wikipedia)

History of Cellular Automata

Reference Material

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 structure of this lab is loosely based on this.

Process

  1. Open up NetLogo. Go to the model library and under the Geosciences category, open "Fire".
  2. Experiment with different values for the density.

Write-up

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 the all properties of trees into a computer 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

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. The WildFire model used in this unit provides a brief introduction to the concepts of VVA (Verification/Validation/Accreditation). Specifically, a rough notion of how a WildFire spreads can be obtained using this model, but it should be stressed that this model is nowhere near accurate when compared to one would actually happen.

General Education Alignment

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

Scaffolded Learning

The NetLogo model(s) in question are easy to use and easy to witness the effect of changing parameters to obtain different results. As well there are fairly clear extensions for the student inclined towards taking those steps.

Inquiry Based Learning

This unit should be able to pique the curiosity of the student, most likely in the form of the question: "Why is that that a single variable can have such a dramatic effect on the output of a system?"

<The Unit's Name> Mechanics

To Do

Comments

Authorship

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