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Simple computation of reaction–diffusion processes on point clouds
- Macdonald, Colin B., Merriman, Barry, Ruuth, Steven J.
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2013 v.110 no.23 pp. 9209-9214
- computer software, equations, models
- The study of reaction–diffusion processes is much more complicated on general curved surfaces than on standard Cartesian coordinate spaces. Here we show how to formulate and solve systems of reaction–diffusion equations on surfaces in an extremely simple way, using only the standard Cartesian form of differential operators, and a discrete unorganized point set to represent the surface. Our method decouples surface geometry from the underlying differential operators. As a consequence, it becomes possible to formulate and solve rather general reaction–diffusion equations on general surfaces without having to consider the complexities of differential geometry or sophisticated numerical analysis. To illustrate the generality of the method, computations for surface diffusion, pattern formation, excitable media, and bulk-surface coupling are provided for a variety of complex point cloud surfaces.