Dimension-Splitting for Simplifying Diffusion in Lattice-Gas Models

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We introduce a simplified technique for incorporating diffusive phenomena into lattice-gas molecular dynamics models. In this method, spatial interactions take place one dimension at a time, with a separate fractional timestep devoted to each dimension, and with all dimensions treated identically. We show that the model resulting from this technique is equivalent to the macroscopic diffusion equation in the appropriate limit. This technique saves computational resources and reduces the complexity of model design, programming, debugging, simulation and analysis. For example, a reaction-diffusion simulation can be designed and tested as a one-dimensional system, and then directly extended to two or more dimensions. We illustrate the use of this approach in constructing a microscopically reversible model of diffusion-limited aggregation as well as in a model of growth of biological films.

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