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Accurate Predictions in a Limited Calculation Time

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Computers need to automatically focus on key changes in an area in order to accurately predict air, road traffic, and water flow with computer simulations, according to Arthur van Dam, a researcher at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Computers can calculate flows using physics formulas, but calculating, for example, how the air pressure develops over a longer period of time and in large areas would be difficult because the area would be divided into conceptual pieces for calculating the average air pressure and flow rate. Using smaller pieces would increase the accuracy of the calculations, but computers have to calculate longer because more pieces would be needed for the same area.

Van Dam has developed a method that automatically reduces the pieces. The subject of his doctoral thesis, the method works for more complex changes, such as rapid changes in air pressure, and would enable a computer to find and assess the complexity of locations in a balanced manner. The automatic focus on interesting areas would allow for more accurate predictions in a limited calculation time.

From Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
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