Diffusion modelling solves problem of yielding better maps

EE Times -Chip diffusion modeling yields better maps
PORTLAND, Ore. — Diffusion modeling similar to the technique used to design semiconductors has helped solve a long-standing problem in information display — the cartogram.
The classic example of a cartogram is a U.S. map with the size of each state proportional to its population. Computerized rendering of cartograms was invented at the University of Michigan in the 1960s, but the technique has since languished because even the fastest computers take an inordinate amount of time to render a well-drawn cartogram using traditional algorithms.
Using diffusion modeling, University of Michigan researcher Mark Newman solved the problem with almost instantaneous renderings of accurate, computerized cartograms. “We were working on a totally different problem — how to represent Internet traffic congestion. I was aware of diffusion models as a density-equalizing effect. That just happens to also be what the classic cartogram does — it equalizes the population density,” said Newman, an assistant professor of physics.

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