I would like to work on urbanisation and I've read that cellular automata has potential use on model urban sprawl. However I need some kind of introductory to cellular automata in order to tackle an academic paper I have found.

I have a fair background in Computer Science. Moreover I am looking for any tools from CS applied to cities.

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    $\begingroup$ I am sorry, but your question seems to be very broad and not really clear how we could help you. The full introduction is beyond the scope of this site. It is not clear where did you get stuck with your paper, but I am afraid that transcribing the paper is also not supported here. Also the urbanisation process is not well defined - we do not know what you are going to model. $\endgroup$
    – Evil
    Feb 5, 2017 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ It is about how a city might evolve and expand. One may consider cells with different state : houses, forest, water, farming ... Then there is what's the transition function ? The article is from a geographer, that's what makes the reading hard. I am looking for CS based perspective $\endgroup$
    – Joachim
    Feb 5, 2017 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps a good start would be editing your question to include a link to the paper. $\endgroup$ Feb 7, 2017 at 0:30

1 Answer 1


This here might help you as an introduction to cellular automata, written by Joel L. Schiff: INTRODUCTION

Furthermore, there is a copy of "Modelling Urban Development with Geographical Information Systems and Cellular Automata" by Yan Liu online. I do not know whether I can link it here, but you can easily search for it.


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