About the book
A cellular automaton (CA) is a spatially and temporally discrete, dynamical system characterized by local interaction and an inherently parallel form of evolution. These systems, first introduced by John von Neumann (as a suggestion of Stanislaw Ulam) in the early 1950s, are prototypical models for complex systems and processes involving a large number of identical, simple, locally interacting components. The CA models have generated considerable interest over the years because of its ability to produce a vast and rich spectrum of intricate patterns of behavior out of sets of relatively simple underlying rules, and also because they may capture many essential features of the complex self-organizing cooperative behavior observed in real systems.
This book intends to provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of the current state-of-the-art in the application of CA models for understanding and solving some of the typical and recurrent problems that occur in large urban settlements (towns, cities, and megacities), such as urban congested traffic and its related adverse effects on the vehicles fuel consumption, emissions, and air quality impact; urban growth and land-use change and their environmental impacts; crowd behavior and evacuation from buildings for fire safety or seismic safety; fire growth and spreading for hazard assessment and planning for disaster mitigation; the spread of epidemics in high-dense populated cities, among other timely and interesting topics of urban problems (flood routing, sewer network optimization, etc).