Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Territorial Self-organization Model

MATer is an agent-based model that aims at reproducing the historical patterns of population settlement in a territory written using Repast. It is the result a interdisciplinary project at the University of Coimbra that combined agent-based modelling, geographic information systems and historical and archaeological evidence in order to understand how self-organizational processes shape human settlements throughout a territory.

Within the model there is simple population dynamics (birth, growing, reproducing and dying). Individuals require land to survive and seek locations to settle down (low land close to the rivers), migrating when overpopulation makes land scarce. Through these behaviours the model simulates the foundation, growth and decline of settlements, taking into account the actual geography of a territory. What I find particularly appealing is that the simulation generates roads between settlements when there is population movements and once created the roads, affect the ease with which agents move around the area.

Video Simulation of MATer

Click here to see the Project website and to find out more about the model.

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