Wednesday, March 21, 2007


The Dynamic Urban Evolutionary Model (DUEM) (Batty et al., 1999) is described by as a typical Cellular Automata/Cellular Space model (Batty and Xie, 2005). Its purpose is to simulate urban growth (sprawl) thus exploring urban development. It does this by providing five different land-uses. That of housing, manufacturing/primary industry, commerce and services, transport in the form of street and road networks and vacant land. Land-use changes due to specific rules. Land-use also has a life cycle, which results in land-uses spawning new ones. The model operates on three different spatial scales: local neighbourhood, through to district to the region.

The DUEM software is written from scratch using Visual C++ with loose coupling to GIS through the importation of raster files. Figure 1 demonstrates the typical user interface which allows users to plant various land-use seeds and watch the environment evolve both in space and time (compare Figures 1 and 2). The software additionally shows how various trajectories of different land-uses change over time (Bottom three windows of Figures 1 and 2). This highly visual interface conveys a large amount of information such as aggregated outcomes, and statistical trends, in an easy to digest way, which helps with the understanding on how the model works. 

Figure 1: Evoluction of the landscape

Figure 2: Further evolution of the landscape

If you interested in running the model it can be downloaded from here.

References for further Reading:

Batty, M. and Xie, Y. (2005), 'Urban Growth Using Cellular Automata Models', in Maguire, D.J., Batty, M. and Goodchild M, F. (eds.), GIS, Spatial Analysis and Modelling, ESRI Press, Redlands, California, pp. 151-172.

Batty, M., Xie, Y. and Sun, Z. (1999), 'Modelling Urban Dynamics through GIS-Based Cellular Automata', Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 23(3): 205-233.

Xie, Y. and Batty, M. (2003), Integrated Urban Evolutionary Modeling, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (University College London): Working Paper 68, London, England.

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