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Diffusion is an enormous topic in physics, where it involves all transport processes in which matter or energy spreads spontaneously from one medium to another, primarily due to some difference between the media. This difference may be one of potential, as in the case where the media differ in temperature. In fact, this idea is so widely used that almost any mixing and spreading involving some form of transport is called diffusion. In the context of geographic information science, we need to be more specific, while at the same time defining it generically. Rather than assuming transport per se between media, we generalize diffusion to be a process in which an active element in a system interacts with an adjacent element that is inactive, thereby ...

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