Monday, October 07, 2013

Interurban Simulation Models

Following on from a previous post about the rise of civilizations. I thought it was worth blogging of another publication which I just came across in Environment and Planning A which demonstrates the utility of agent-based modeling for looking at urban systems by Denise Pumain and Lena Sanders. While I have blogged about the SimPop models before (here), which explore a systems of cities and how they evolve in space and time. In this recent paper the authors compare and contrast ABM with other styles of modeling. To quote from the paper:
"Agent-based models are increasingly used by urban specialists, supplanting the simulation models using differential equations which were more popular earlier. These models already made reference to the theories of self-organisation and to mechanisms of evolution not so far from those used today to describe the emergence of macroscopic properties or structures in a bottom-up process from interactions operating at the microlevel. Moreover there is less difference than often suggested in the literature between the two forms of modelling – differential equations and multi-agent models—in the way they integrate principles of urban theory. To test this assumption, we compare models made of systems of differential equations (Allen’s model firmly rooted in self-organisation theory and the model developed by Weidlich and Haag, affiliated to synergetic theory) with multi-agent models (SIMPOP family) designed to meet the same task: simulating the differentiated dynamics of urban entities over the medium to long term from their functional economic specialisation. We show that multi-agent systems are providing interesting solutions for the modelling method, because of their greater ability to simulate the emergence of geographical macro structures from different levels of interaction." 

Full Reference:
Pumain, D. and  Sanders, L. (2013). Theoretical principles in interurban simulation models: a comparison. Environment and Planning A, 45(9), 2243-2260.

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