Thermodynamic Consistency of the Cushman Method of Computing the Configurational Entropy of a Landscape Lattice

Samuel A. Cushman
2021 Entropy  
There has been a recent surge of interest in theory and methods for calculating the entropy of landscape patterns, but relatively little is known about the thermodynamic consistency of these approaches. I posit that for any of these methods to be fully thermodynamically consistent, they must meet three conditions. First, the computed entropies must lie along the theoretical distribution of entropies as a function of total edge length, which Cushman showed was a parabolic function following from
more » ... the fact that there is a normal distribution of permuted edge lengths, the entropy is the logarithm of the number of microstates in a macrostate, and the logarithm of a normal distribution is a parabolic function. Second, the entropy must increase over time through the period of the random mixing simulation, following the expectation that entropy increases in a closed system. Third, at full mixing, the entropy will fluctuate randomly around the maximum theoretical value, associated with a perfectly random arrangement of the lattice. I evaluated these criteria in a test condition involving a binary, two-class landscape using the Cushman method of directly applying the Boltzmann relation (s = klogW) to permuted landscape configurations and measuring the distribution of total edge length. The results show that the Cushman method directly applying the classical Boltzmann relation is fully consistent with these criteria and therefore fully thermodynamically consistent. I suggest that this method, which is a direct application of the classical and iconic formulation of Boltzmann, has advantages given its direct interpretability, theoretical elegance, and thermodynamic consistency.
doi:10.3390/e23111420 pmid:34828118 pmcid:PMC8617622 fatcat:vogzykmzgvgi7iuk6jo7xrt5xe