Sunday, September 09, 2012

Call for papers: Agent-Based & Cellular Automata Models for Geographical Systems @ AAG 2013


SPECIAL SESSION(S): Agent-Based & Cellular Automata Models for Geographical Systems

Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting
April, 9-13th, 2013, Los Angeles, USA

The use of Agent-based Modeling (ABM) and Cellular Automata (CA) models within geographical systems are starting to mature as methodologies to explore a wide range of geographical and more broadly social sciences problems facing society. The aim of this session(s) is to bring together researchers utilizing agent-based models, CA (and associated methodologies) to discuss topics relating to: theory, technical issues and applications domains of ABM and CA within geographical systems.

We would particularly welcome papers relating to:
  • Validation, verification and calibration of Agent-based and CA models
  • Hybrid modeling approaches (e.g. utilizing Spatial Interaction, Microsimulation, etc.)
  • Handling scale and space issues
  • Visualization of agent-based models (along with their outputs)
  • Ways of representing behavior within models of geographical systems
  • Participatory modeling and simulation
  • Applications: Ranging from the micro to macro scale
Please e-mail the abstract and key words with your expression of intent to Andrew Crooks <; by October 15th, 2012. Please make sure that your abstract conforms to the AAG guidelines in relation to title, word limit and key words and as specified at . An abstract should be no more than 250 words that describes the presentation's purpose, methods, and conclusions as well as to include keywords. Full submissions will be given priority over submissions with just a paper title.

Christopher Bone, Department of Geography, University of Oregon.
Andrew Crooks, Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, George Mason University, USA.
Suzana Dragicevic, Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University.
Alison Heppenstall, School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK .
Michael Batty, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), University College London, London, UK.
Amit Patel, School of Public Policy, George Mason University, USA.

  • October 15th, 2012: Abstract submission and expression of intent to session organizers. E-mail Andrew Crooks by this date if you are interested in being in this session. Please submit an abstract and key words with your expression of intent. Full submissions will be given priority over submissions with just a paper title.
  • October 18th, 2012: Session finalization. Session organizers determine session order and content and notify authors.
  • October 20th, 2012: Final abstract submission to AAG, via All participants must register individually via this site. Upon registration you will be given a participant number (PIN). Send the PIN and a copy of your final abstract to Andrew Crooks . Neither the organizers nor the AAG will edit the abstracts.
  • October 24th, 2012: AAG registration deadline. Sessions submitted to AAG for approval.
  • April, 9-13th, 2013: AAG meeting, Los Angeles, USA

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

New paper: Agent-based modeling for community resource management: Acequia-based agriculture

We have just got a paper accepted in Computers, Environment and Urban Systems entitled "Agent-based modeling for community resource management: Acequia-based agriculture." In the paper we explore the complex social interactions of water management, which involves landowners collectively maintaining and managing ditches which distribute water among the properties.

This system of the physical ditches and the maintaining organization together is known as an acequia, and the landowners who maintain it are called Parciantes. Acequias are interesting to researchers because of the developed common property regimes they require to function. The water carried by the ditches is a shared resource, and the complex management system of the acequia has evolved to avoid Hardin’s tragedy of the commons with regard to natural resources in the sense that it prevents the resource from being overused or under-maintained to the detriment of everyone. Ostrom has extensively studied the process of sharing such resources, investigating the structures set in place to preserve them. In ‘‘Governing the Commons’’, her book on common pool resources and human–ecosystem interactions, she suggests a set of characteristics that define stable communal social mechanisms. These characteristics include the presence of environment-appropriate rules governing the use of collective goods and the efficacy of individuals in the system.

Below is the abstract from the paper:
Water management is a major concern across the world. From northern China to the Middle East to Africa to the United States, growing populations can stress local water resources as they demand more water for both direct consumption and agriculture. Irrigation based agriculture draws especially heavily on these resources and usually cannot survive without them; however, irrigation systems must be maintained, a task individual agriculturalists cannot bear alone. We have constructed an agent-based model to investigate the significant interaction and cumulative impact of the physical water system, local social and institutional structures which regulate water use, and the real estate market on the sustainability of traditional farming as a lifestyle in the northern New Mexico area. The regional term for the coupled social organization and physical system of irrigation is ‘‘acequias’’. The results of the model show that depending on the future patterns of weather and government regulations, acequia-based farming may continue at near current rates, shrink significantly but continue to exist, or disappear altogether.
In the figure below we show some of our efforts in verification of the model, specifically, the water network, after 100 years of regular maintenance (A) and after 100 years of no maintenance (B). The darker the line, the more clear the segment is of sedimentation; only unmaintained acequias are impacted by sedimentation in this model, and appear in lighter shades.

Below is a movie are a few sample model runs showing how different scenarios play out, specifically with respect to land-use change.

Full reference:
Wise, S. and Crooks, A.T. (2012), Agent Based Modelling and GIS for Community Resource Management: Acequia-based Agriculture, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 36(6): 562-572. (pdf)