The Fractal Landscape Realizer

Data collected since January 8, 1997

William W. Hargrove, Paul M. Schwartz, and Forrest M. Hoffman

Probability, Tie, and Fractal Realization Maps

Welcome to the Fractal Realizer homepage! This site will describe the capabilities of the Fractal Realizer tool and provide some background on the Turing Test. After reading this material, you can take the Turing Test of the Fractal Realizer to see if you can distinguish real maps from those generated by the Fractal Realizer. At the end of the test you may view statistics and graphs reporting the scores of all test takers. Since these are generated dynamically, the results presented will include the results of your own test! Comments from expert ecologists and mathematicians as well as the general public are available and make for interesting reading.

What is the Fractal Realizer?

The Fractal Realizer generates synthetic landscape maps to users' specifications. The alternative landscape realizations are not identical to the actual maps after which they are patterned, but are similar statistically (i.e., the areas and fractal character of each category are replicated).

How does the Fractal Realizer Work?

A fractal, or self-affine, pattern generator is used to provide a spatial probability surface for each category in the synthetic map. The Realizer arbitrates contentions among categories such that the fractal patterns of all categories are preserved in the resulting synthetic landscape (see sequence of pictures at right).

How is the Fractal Realizer Useful?

  1. As a generator of ``neutral models'' against which to test natural patterns. The Fractal Realizer generates null models in the absence of any structuring process, or using well-defined structuring processes which are under the users' control.

  2. As a generator of Monte Carlo input to spatial simulation models.

    Sensitivity of stochastic simulations to prescribed input landscapes may be evaluated, or statistically similar landscapes can be generated as a hedge against pseudoreplication. Each synthetic landscape is one realization from an ensemble of possible fractal landscape combinations.

  3. As a means of generating replicate landscapes that possess similar statistical properties with a particular empirical landscape.

  4. As a baseline upon which to simulate natural processes in order to predict expected pattern.

Read About the Turing Test of the Fractal Realizer

For additional information contact:

William W. Hargrove
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Environmental Sciences Division
P.O. Box 2008, M.S. 6407
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6407
(865) 241-2748

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