# How Long Is the Coast of Britain? Statistical Self-Similarity and Fractional Dimension

@article{Mandelbrot1967HowLI, title={How Long Is the Coast of Britain? Statistical Self-Similarity and Fractional Dimension}, author={Benoit B. Mandelbrot}, journal={Science}, year={1967}, volume={156}, pages={636 - 638} }

Geographical curves are so involved in their detail that their lengths are often infinite or, rather, undefinable. However, many are statistically "selfsimilar," meaning that each portion can be considered a reduced-scale image of the whole. In that case, the degree of complication can be described by a quantity D that has many properties of a "dimension," though it is fractional; that is, it exceeds the value unity associated with the ordinary, rectifiable, curves.

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