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The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants (The Virtual Laboratory) [Paperback]

Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz , Aristid Lindenmayer , J.S. Hanan , F.D. Fracchia , D.R. Fowler , M.J.M. de Boer , L. Mercer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 18, 1996 0387946764 978-0387946764
This book is the first comprehensive volume on the computer simulation of plant development. It contains a full account of the algorithms used to model plant shapes and developmental processes, Lindenmayer systems in particular. With nearly 50 color plates, the spectacular results of the modelling are vividly illustrated. "This marvelous book will occupy an important place in the scientific literature." #Professor Heinz-Otto Peitgen# "The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants will perform a valuable service by popularizing this enlightening and bewitching form of mathematics." #Steven Levy# " . . . the garden here is full of delights and an excellent introduction to L-systems, . . ." #Alvy Ray Smith, IEEE Computer Graphics and its Applications#


Editorial Reviews

Review

"This marvelous book will occupy an important place in the scientific literature." --Prof. Heinz-Otto Peitgen, author of The Beauty of Fractals "...will perform a valuable service by popularizing this enlightening and bewitching form of mathematics." --Steven Levy "...full of delights and an excellent introduction to L-systems" --Alvy Ray Smith, IEEE Graphics and its Applications

Product Details

  • Series: The Virtual Laboratory
  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Springer (April 18, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387946764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387946764
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.4 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,529,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
The beauty of plants has attracted the interest of mathematicians for centuries. Plants have many conspicuous geometric features such as symmetry in their leaves, rotational symmetry in their flowers, and then there are the interesting helical arrangements of pine cone scales. This book examines two factors that organize plant structures and therefore contribute to their beauty. The first is the simple elegance of the rules which describe plant development in relation to time. The second is self-similarity as characterized by Mandelbrot.

This book applies the basic idea inherent in recursive graphics programming to modeling natural organic phenomena to the greatest degree of accuracy possible. This book uses L-systems, which is a method of specifying rules that enables very complex ideas to be expressed in a very exact way. The book contains no information on specific programming language implementation. However, the L-system specification is given in enough detail that an implementation of a basic L-system compiler should be attainable by most programmers with a talent for efficient algorithms implementation and sufficient motivation. All of the graphics are done using either two or three dimensional turtle commands, which are also easily adapted to fit into whatever compiler you choose. Efficient display routines will require some work, and as most of the algorithms described produce very large amounts of data, speed is very important for all shapes apart from the most basic structures.

The results of using an L-system is quite impressive. The book contains many photographs of computer generated trees using L-systems that are almost identical to their natural counterparts. The book is very well written, with lots of examples and many illustrations.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and beautiful book. April 21, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The color plates are quite extraordinary. Knowledge of math helps, but the book pretty much starts at Ground Zero. It is quite useable for those wishing to implement the plant modeling systems described (which is why I purchased it).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, technical, and broad January 17, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A beautiful book with excellent color plates; it gives a precisely mathematical, yet not arcane, presentation of the ways botanical forms can be generated algorithmically. This gives insight into real plants and a fun set of computational tools to play with.

I discovered this book years ago, as a teenager, and just bought a copy to relive its pleasures.
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