Saturday, 20 February 2016

Diffusion of the dead - The maths of zombie invasions. Part 9, The complete strategy.

Over the past 8 posts we have investigated the mathematical implications of a zombie invasion. If you really can't be bothered to read all of the details, please see part 1, where you'll find some links to presentations that I have done and I'll give you all the details inside of one hour!

For the more patient reader, we began in parts 2, 3 and 4 where we discussed the philosophy of modelling, the assumptions that would make up the zombie invasion model and some basic mathematical simulation techniques. Although important for the recreational mathematician if you're really in a pinch you'll want to skip right to the results.

In particular, in parts 5 and 6 we showed that running away from zombies increases the initial interaction time far more than trying to slow the zombies down. Thus, fleeing for your life should be the first action of any human wishing to survive. However, we cannot run forever; interaction with zombies is inevitable.

In part 8 we showed that the best long-term strategy is to create a fortified society that can sustain the population, whilst allowing us to remove the zombies as they approach. This, in effect, reduces the risk to zero and we will survive.

In the event of the apocalypse, it is unlikely that we would be able to support such a commune without raiding parties scavenging for medicine, food and fuel. Thus, in this case, we fall back on the maxim of being more deadly than the zombies which allows us to survive as shown in part 7.

Over all, it is difficult for us to survive simply because zombies do not have a natural death rate, and by biting us, they are able to increase their own ranks whilst reducing ours. Thus reinforcing our greatest fear that human allies could quickly become our biggest nightmares.

Our conclusion is grim, not because we want it to be so but because it is so. It had always been the authors' intention to try and save the human race. So to you, the reader, who may be the last survivor of the human race, we say: run. Run as far away as you can get; an island would be a great choice. Only take the chance to fight if you are sure you can win and seek out survivors who will help you stay alive.
Good luck.
You are going to need it.

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