Friday, September 30, 2016

Multi-level Models In NetLogo
In the release of NetLogo 6.0, there is an exciting new feature, the ability to have multi-level models. What makes this possible is the introduction of LevelSpace. To quote from the website:
NetLogo gives the example which I show on the above, whereby one can link three models to find the right balance between for a population in terms of "food production with pollution and the environment while growing their society." What I find exciting about this, relates to what we have written about before (e.g. here and here). Basically we often build models which explore only one aspect of urban systems (i.e. a subsystem) at the expense of ignoring others, but there are many aspects of a urban system which are interconnected as I show below.

A Selection of Related Subsystems/processes for Urban Systems
(Source:  Heppenstall et al., 2016)

However, such subsystems do not operate in isolation. In the short term they might appear to be independent from the rest of the system, but in the long run they are dependent on the aggregate system behavior (along with other subsystems). The idea and ease therefore of linking different models together could help explore the urban systems.

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