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An algorithmic approach for simulating realistic irregular lattices


  • Juan C. Duque
  • Alejandro Betancourt
  • Freddy Marin


There is a wide variety of computational experiments, or statistical simulations, in which regional scientists require regular and irregular lattices with a predefined number of polygons. While most commercial and free GIS software offer the possibility of generating regular lattices of any size, the generation of instances of irregular lattices is not a straightforward task. The most common strategy in this case is to find a real map that matches as closely as possible the required number of polygons. This practice is usually conducted without considering whether the topological characteristics of the selected map are close to those for an “average” map sampled in different parts of the world. In this paper, we propose an algorithm, RI-Maps, that combines fractal theory, stochastic calculus and computational geometry for simulating realistic irregular lattices with a predefined number of polygons. The irregular lattices generated with RI-Maps have guaranteed consistency in their topological characteristics, which reduces the potential distortions in the computational or statistical results due to an inappropriate selection of the lattices.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan C. Duque & Alejandro Betancourt & Freddy Marin, 2013. "An algorithmic approach for simulating realistic irregular lattices," Documentos de Trabajo de Valor Público 10937, Universidad EAFIT.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000122:010937

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    RI-Maps; MR-Polygons; Regional Science; Lattices; Computation; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C02 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Mathematical Economics
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques

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