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assignment requires you to design and implement a program that models the spread of fire in a 2D forest

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Assignment: Fire Simulation

This assignment requires you to design and implement a program that models the spread of fire in a 2D forest. If you do use code derived from publically available archives (e.g. internet, textbook) then that code should be referenced and it should be made as clear as you possibly can what is code you have developed and what is code you have re-used from other sources.

Program requirements

Note that fire simulations are very well covered in textbooks, published journals and on the internet. Your implementation must conform to the following two requirements:

1. Language must be C#

2. Application must only be console based

Code Development

1. The simulation requires you to create a simple 2D console-based world composed of a 21x21 grid of cells, where all cells contain a tree. The boundary of the forest/grid can be regarded as a firebreak; proximity to the boundary cannot cause an internal tree to catch fire. Draw the forested world using ASCII characters such as an ampersand (‘&’ for a tree, an ‘x’ for a burning tree and a blank space for an empty cell.

 

2. Once the simulation is started the fire is initiated (in the first instance) with a burning tree at the central cell. No user-interaction is required other than to press a key to indicate the end of one time-period and the start of the next, or to exit the simulation. Each key press changes the state of the simulation and thus represents a time-step (actual real units of time are irrelevant). Assume that the simulation continues until no cell is on fire.

 

3. After each time step, re-draw the grid and prompt the user to press Enter to initiate the next time step, (please note that if the user doesn’t prompt the fire will continue until the entire forest is burnt) or another option to exit the simulation (if it helps you can think of the simulation as being a kind of turn-based game where your turn is to press ‘Enter’ and the computer’s turn is to redraw the forest following application of the rules that progress the forest fire).

4. During each time step each cell can be in one of three states, which could be represented numerically (eg 0, 1, 2)>

Empty – this represents either empty ground or the site of a burnt tree.

Tree – a tree that is not burning.

Burning – a tree that is burning.

During each time step the following rules should be applied to each cell to determine it’s new state in the next time step;

i. If the site is empty it remains empty.

ii. If a tree is present and none of the neighbours are burning it remains a tree.

iii. If a tree is present and at least one of the neighbours is burning it may or may not catch fire with a probability of 50% (use a random number generator to determine this).

iv. If the site contains a burning tree then assume it will burn down in one time step leaving an empty site.

 

To simplify programming for this simulation, assume the state of a diagonal cell to the northeast, southeast, southwest, or northwest does not have an impact on a current cell's value at the next iteration. Therefore a cell's value at the next timestep depends on the cell's current state and the values of its neighbours to the north, east, south, and west. Note In very general terms the coding solution should firstly set up the forest environment and then secondly implement the time steps and forest updates via a loop structure. Note that your solution must be object-oriented as far as possible. Some suggestions (not exhaustive or even necessarily a requirement) are;

Develop a class Cell class whose objects fill a 2D array called forest, with appropriate private attributes and public methods.

Develop a class Grid, with a static 2D char array of ascii symbols map reflecting the current visual state of the forest used for displaying to screen. A static method spread() could process each Cell object in turn – by passing the state of the current cell and the states of it’s neighbours, and return the new (ie next) state.

Another static method could be applySpread() that takes at least one argument (the forest) and updates the forest grid and associated map. One approach is to have an empty copy of the grid used every turn; that is, apply the update rules in turn to each cell and then add the updated cell to the new location in the copy of the grid not the original. When all the cells have been updated in the copy, that copy becomes the new ‘original’ (which can be drawn to screen) and the old grid is discarded.

Enhancements

The complexity and available credit for this assignment is very dependent on which requirements you implement and how they are implemented. Aim for a basic implementation in the first instance. However to maximise your marks you are encouraged to explore techniques (own ideas, literature research) to further extend/enhance the simulation. For example the most intuitive way to code a solution is to create a 2D array of Cell objects along with a 2D char array for display purposes as described above but this is discouraged. However there may be more memory efficient ways of utilising an underlying data structure such as a linked list of tree objects (whether in a ‘burning’ or ‘unburning’ state) where each tree object contains a reference to a map of the whole forest, and the list shrinks or expands according to the number of trees at any one time. Another example is to introduce the effect of environment on how the fire might spread (e.g. wind speed and direction, ground moisture etc) which might influence the probability of a tree catching fire.

 

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