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Presenting the model and its behavior

DOI: 10.1016/s1874-5970(99)80005-8


Abstract The vitality of the modeler's own work, as well as the impact that a model can have on others, depends critically on its presentation. The ultimate goal may be a table of numbers interpolable to a given accuracy, but it is still probable that an accompanying graph of much lower accuracy will get more attention and convey a more synoptic picture. Both kinds of figure are necessary: the quantitative, if necessary backed up with tables; the qualitative, which can indeed be quantitative, but allows for didactic distortion and magnified sections in its endeavor to convey as much and as vividly as possible. The capabilities of the supercomputer in visualization, its colors, sound effects, stereoscopic three dimensionality, are impressive and should be used to the full, but it is the more immediate graphical presentation that one sketches for oneself before handing over to the computer that we are concerned with here. Fortunately, dynamical systems lend themselves to vivid visualization as Abraham and Shaw have shown in their remarkable books and papers.2

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