simulation

34 posts
Simulation shows swirling of smoke, sea salt, and dust around the world

NASA. Data. Good. Tracking the aerosols carried on the winds let scientists see the currents in our atmosphere. This visualization follows sea salt, dust, and smoke from July 31 to November 1, 2017, to reveal how these particles are transported across the map. The first thing that is noticeable is how far the particles can travel. Smoke from fires in the Pacific Northwest gets caught in a weather pattern and...

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Life expectancy if all diseases were magically cured

Here’s a fun what-if simulation that imagines a world where all natural causes of death were gone. People only die of things like car crashes and homicide. The result: people who live to thousands of years old. Of course, this assumes that the likelihood of dying from external causes stays the same. With such a long life expectancy, do people start to take more risks? Or do we become more...

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How disinformation spreads in a network

Disinformation is kind of a problem these days, yeah? Fatih Erikli uses a simulation that works like a disaster spread model applied to social networks to give an idea of how disinformation spreads. I tried to visualize how a disinformation becomes a post-truth by the people who subscribed in a network. We can think this network as a social media such as Facebook or Twitter. The nodes (points) in the...

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Visual simulations to show Uber game strategies

Uber uses psychology and video game mechanics to encourage drivers to work longer and drive in certain areas. Noam Scheiber for The New York Times details the gray area that Uber resides in since drivers aren’t official employees. Uber exists in a kind of legal and ethical purgatory, however. Because its drivers are independent contractors, they lack most of the protections associated with employment. By mastering their workers’ mental circuitry,...

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LOOPY is a tool to think in systems

Nicky Case, whose projects to simulate segregation and systems with emoji you might recognize, likes to think in systems. Piece together steps and objects, and let them interact with each other using various probabilities and weights. Simulate. See what happens. Case’s newest project, LOOPY, is a tool to build your own systems. No programming required. Just click-and-drag things and press play. Tags: simulation

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Simulation shows how your mouth works when you talk

You have a mouth with a bunch of tissue in it and manipulate your tongue, lips, throat, and other pieces so that somehow words come out. A lot of variables figure in, which can make the whole process of talking a complex process. Neil Thapen makes it more understandable with a fun simulator he calls Pink Trombone. Turn your sound on, and click and drag any of the words to...

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Here’s how a neural network works

Daniel Smilkov and Shan Carter at Google put together this interactive learner for how a neural network works. In case you’re unfamiliar with the method: It’s a technique for building a computer program that learns from data. It is based very loosely on how we think the human brain works. First, a collection of software “neurons” are created and connected together, allowing them to send messages to each other. Next,...

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Simulation shows why polls don’t always match future results

With election season in full swing, as far as the news is concerned at least, we get to see poll after poll in the beginning of a voting day and then reports the next day about which ones were wrong. Based on the news alone, it feels like almost every poll is just plain wrong. Maarten Lambrechts shows what’s going on here with Rock ‘n Poll. It simulates a poll...

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Super Tuesday simulation to show uncertainty

As we know, there are various outcomes during election season, with uncertainty in each round. The Upshot is currently using a simulation to show the expectations of tonight. These estimates, which include states that have not yet reported all their votes, are based on several factors: Our expectations of every candidate’s performance, the voting results in other states and the demographic makeup and historical voting patterns of voters in each...

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Possible paths for a Trump nomination loss or win

It pains me to imagine a time when Donald Trump earns a Republican nomination. There are a number of ways he can get there, and there are a number of ways Marco Rubio can win the nod. The Upshot simulated the possible routes. To figure out what it will take for Donald J. Trump — or Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz — to win the Republican nomination, we built the...

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