# Forest Fires

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.

Which of this reading is more appropriate for students, or more appropriate for the teacher(s)? Some of this seems to be a little dense for student reading.

• Geared a little bit towards the teachers and upper end students. Meant largerly as an intro into what we're looking at,
• Much more so geared towards the teachers. This is a fairly technical article and is meant to give an overview of an Agent-Based version of wildfires.
• 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.

## Lecture Notes

Lecture 1

• Brief cover of wildfires, to understand the basics of what we're going to try to model
• Fires can start any number of ways (lightning, careless smokers, etc.)
• Fires can spread in many ways (more lightning, wind, dense undergrowth, etc.)
• Start covering basic dynamic modeling methods (brief overview, we'll cover Cellular Automata later)
• Cellular Automata
• Cells of a grid can be in some state
• Think of a sheet of graph paper and you can either shade in a square or not
• One cell's state may or may not affect its neighbors
• Changes based on a set of rules
• Agent Modeling
• Independent agents whose behavior is governed by sets of rules
• Systems Dynamics
• Sets of math equations govern the output of a set of graphs
• Output of equations is governed by rates

Lecture 2

• More in-depth coverage of cellular automata
• Game Of Life - principle example

Even if this is a one week unit, it's still missing a lecture.

## CRS Questions

• Which of these is a reasonable method for simulating Wild Fires?
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"
• What is another name for "Cellular Automata"?
1. Automated Telecomune
2. Tessellation Automata
3. Biological Automated Simulation
4. Systems Dynamics
• Who is credited for doing some of the first work in Cellular Automata?
1. Stephen Wolfram
2. John von Neumann
3. Alan Turing
4. Stanislaw Ulam

## Lab

It would be nice to get some ideas for this unit on this front. Some ideas of what sort of lab you could run, and how you could implement that lab would be great.

## Schedule

Will this be a 1 week or 2 week unit? What sort of dependencies are there?