[Tutor] Lotka-Volterra Model Simulation Questions
Wayne Werner
wayne at waynewerner.com
Sat Sep 29 16:39:52 CEST 2012
On Sat, 29 Sep 2012, Wayne Werner wrote:
> On Sat, 29 Sep 2012, Oscar Benjamin wrote:
>> On Sep 29, 2012 2:25 AM, "Alan Gauld" <alan.gauld at btinternet.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > On 28/09/12 21:32, Jim Apto wrote:
>> >
>> >> I'm relatively new to python, and was asked to program a lotka-volterra
>> >> model (predator and prey relation) simulator.
>> >
>> >
>> >> x represents prey population
>> >> y represents predator population
>> >
>> >
>> > so use names that say so, like preyPop and predatorPop
>> > Its only a few extra letters typing but makes things much more readable.
>>
>> As a mathematician I'd have to disagree with you there Alan. This model
>> already has an established notation:
>
> Regardless of established notation, unless only mathematicians will be
> reading
> the code, and only those intimately familiar with the equation, it makes much
> more sense to use meaningful names.
And lest I sound like I'm completely ignoring the mathematical aspect -
what *does* make sense to do is this:
x = prey_popluation
y = pred_population
# insert mathematical formula here.
This satesfies all parties:
1) It gives us programmers nice, meaningful names
2) It gives mathematicians the formula that screams "FORMULA!"
3) It clearly separates the math-y bits from the program-y bits.
Because let's face it,
x = float(input("Starting Prey Population: "))
isn't exactly something you find in (most) math classes. And I think
clearly separating concerns is always a good thing.
-Wayne
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