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Anisotropy in finite continuum percolation: threshold estimation by Minkowski functionals

Klatt, M.A., Schröder-Turk, G.E. and Mecke, K. (2017) Anisotropy in finite continuum percolation: threshold estimation by Minkowski functionals. Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment, 2017 (2). Article 023302.

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We examine the interplay between anisotropy and percolation, i.e. the spontaneous formation of a system spanning cluster in an anisotropic model. We simulate an extension of a benchmark model of continuum percolation, the Boolean model, which is formed by overlapping grains. Here we introduce an orientation bias of the grains that controls the degree of anisotropy of the generated patterns. We analyze in the Euclidean plane the percolation thresholds above which percolating clusters in x- and in y-direction emerge. Only in finite systems, distinct differences between effective percolation thresholds for different directions appear. If extrapolated to infinite system sizes, these differences vanish independent of the details of the model. In the infinite system, the uniqueness of the percolating cluster guarantees a unique percolation threshold. While percolation is isotropic even for anisotropic processes, the value of the percolation threshold depends on the model parameters, which we explore by simulating a score of models with varying degree of anisotropy. To which precision can we predict the percolation threshold without simulations? We discuss analytic formulas for approximations (based on the excluded area or the Euler characteristic) and compare them to our simulation results. Empirical parameters from similar systems allow for accurate predictions of the percolation thresholds (with deviations of <5% in our examples), but even without any empirical parameters, the explicit approximations from integral geometry provide, at least for the systems studied here, lower bounds that capture well the qualitative dependence of the percolation threshold on the system parameters (with deviations of -). As an outlook, we suggest further candidates for explicit and geometric approximations based on second moments of the so-called Minkowski functionals.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing
Copyright: © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd and SISSA Medialab srl.
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