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Routledge Revivals reissue Entropy in Urban and Regional Modelling

Routledge Revivals reissue Alan Wilson’s Entropy in Urban and Regional Modelling this September.

Alan Wilson on his upcoming reissue

First published in 1970, remains a critical guide to building mathematical models which are building blocks of the science and planning of cities and regions. Its methods underpin much of contemporary transportation planning and are important tools in optimizing the locational structures of service provision, whether retail or public. The full range of application extends into demography, and particularly migration, spatial economic development through input-output models and into all aspects of urban planning through the provision of a ‘What if....?’ forecasting capability.

There are many ways of introducing the idea of ‘entropy’. It famously appears in Physics through the Second Law of Thermodynamics: entropy always increases. Here, the approach of Boltzmann is used: in the late Nineteenth Century, he demonstrated a statistical averaging technique to show that once our knowledge of a system of interest is captured through constraint equations, then maximising a function that behaves as entropy generates a most probable system state. Wilson showed that this approach could be developed and applied widely in the social sciences. For completeness, he shows how to reconcile Shannon’s use of entropy in information theory and its relationship to Bayes’ theorem in statistics.

The book is of interest, therefore, to all involved in building mathematical models of cities and regions, but more broadly to statisticians and social scientists from a wide range of disciplines. Physicists will be interested to see one of their principal concepts shown to be a superconcept with such a range of application!

Entropy in Urban and Regional Modelling arrives on the 30th September, order your copy today!

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