Zombie invasion of Chicago to take two months to happen


Image courtesy of AmberAvalona at


The researchers of Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) have developed a computational model which makes them capable of predicting the rate at which diseases spread. In order to test the model, they asked themselves the question of how long would the transformation of the entire population of Chicago into zombies take (assuming that the zombification would take place through "the zombie virus"). The bad news is that the transformation of 2 million people into the undead, as well as having the remaining individuals killed, would roughly take 60 days to happen. However, there is also some good news - each step taken to prevent the spread of the disease, such as instructing the population on how to kill zombies or run away from them, effectively prolongs the period. Moreover, a few simulations have resulted in capturing the zombies and bringing the invasion to a halt.

Despite the frivolous nature of the research matter of the test, the experiment itself draws one's attention to the relevance of models intended to simulate the behavior of considerably numbered groups of individuals - in this case: humans. ChiSIM - the model created by the researchers of ANL - uses the so-called agent-based programming, with the "agent" standing for an individual performing its activities in a specified environment, equipped with observational powers with regard to its surroundings, able to communicate with other agents and perform autonomous decision-taking. The model took 3 million of Chicago residents and 2 million locations of the city into account, carrying out the simulation of population movements throughout which only certain individuals were infected with "the zombie virus".

The computational models of this kind are intended to facilitate the preparation for a potential crisis for decision-makers, as well as to simulate the outcome of an already taken decision. The researchers of ANL are currently carrying out the simulations of the spread of disease outbreaks potentially caused by the influenza and Ebola viruses in Chicago.

Sources: ScienceDaily oraz Computation Institute (University of Chicago)
Image credits: AmberAvalona
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