We present a review of the discrete dipole approximation (DDA), which is a general method to simulate light scattering by arbitrarily shaped particles. We put the method in historical context and discuss recent developments, taking the viewpoint of a general framework based on the integral equations for the electric field. We review both the theory of the DDA and its numerical aspects, the latter being of critical importance for any practical application of the method. Finally, the position of the DDA among other methods of light scattering simulation is shown and possible future developments are discussed. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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