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Simulating environmental systems: the benefits of being discrete

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Many things that we encounter in the natural world are made up of individual separate objects – scree slopes are made from individual smaller rock fragments, forests from individual trees and society from individual people. The interactions between these discrete components lead to complex systems in which, over time, larger-scale structures emerge from the smaller. Using computer simulation we can explore the behaviour that results by directly modelling every rock, or every tree or every person. These models promise to help us understand better how people interact with the natural world at a time when society faces increasing environmental challenges.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Statistics Discussion Group (CSDG) series.

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